Asbestos removal goes very wrong at St Catherine’s School


Dodgy asbestos removal work at St Catherine’s School Sydney in Waverley may have exposed workers and the neighbouring community to the deadly material, warns the NSW CFMEU.

“Asbestos removal conducted at the site over the weekend appears to have been done with scant regard for the usual control measures that are essential to its safe handling and disposal,” said Darren Greenfield, NSW CFMEU Secretary.

“The work site is now littered with asbestos dust and fragments and there is material on the footpath and street close to the school. It is shocking to see such blatant disregard for the safety of the community.”

“The union has called for a hygienist to assess the site, but it is clear from even the cursory examination that something has gone very wrong here.”

“We have grave fears for how the work has been done and have serious questions about who has done the work. Professional and licenced asbestos removalists do not usually botch a job as badly as this.”

“Asbestos sheeting has been ripped off eaves and walls of an old swimming pool changeroom, leaving large fragments of broken material all over the site. There is asbestos dust everywhere and the clean-up effort at the site has been rudimentary at best.”

“It is critically important that SafeWork NSW act now to minimise the danger to workers and the community at the site. They must conduct a thorough investigation of how this happened and where the removed asbestos has been disposed of.”

“We are concerned that we have been unable to ascertain that the material was disposed of correctly.”

“The union already had safety concerns with the way the site was set up and maintained.”

“There is no excuse for what has happened here. Someone has chosen to do this work without regard for the safety of the school community, neighbouring residents, and workers on the site. It is a disgrace and should prompt swift action.”

“This should serve as a warning to the whole community that there are no short cuts to safely handling asbestos. Our community is riddled with this deadly toxin and it is imperative that safety comes first whenever it is discovered.”

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).