QUEENSLAND Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey must intervene in the $400 million Ipswich Motorway upgrade to prevent serious injury or a fatality on the project.
CFMEU Assistant Secretary Jade Ingham said a second series of serious safety breaches identified by government inspectors on Wednesday underscored the need for urgent action.
The second series of safety failures brings the number of breaches identified just in this week to more than a dozen, with the department issuing two prohibition notices ordering contractors to cease work immediately on dangerous sections of formwork.
“It is frighteningly clear now that it is not only workers but also members of the public who are exposed to potentially serious harm. Silica dust has been identified in public walkways and there has been an abject failure to safely separate pedestrians from excavation work and heavy machinery,” Mr Ingham said.
“If this is allowed to continue it is only a matter of time before people are seriously hurt.”
“Right now it looks like we have got another Toowoomba Second Range Crossing [where a series of accidents forced the suspension of work earlier this year] on our hands.”
Mr Ingham said the contractors at fault, Bielby Hull Albem, had a reputation as cowboy operators and that the state government’s attempts to get work completed on the cheap – and a failure to proactively police workplace safety – was a recipe for tragedy.
“These are companies that are only interested in cutting corners. It is all about what they can get away with, not what should be done to ensure the safety of workers and the general public.”
“Does the Minister need to see blood on the ground before he acts?”
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