After weeks of pressure, the CPSU has obtained the inspection reports from the asbestos specialist and occupational hygienist Presna Pty Ltd, which were engaged after the first inspection, under the instruction of your HSR.
The reports provide more questions than answers, below are the questions we have sent through to the Department for answering. As you can see, they’re not light matters:
- Presna recommend works on the ceiling, including removing segments of the ceiling. Will the removal of segments of the ceiling disturb the existing asbestos?
- Another recommendation is to contract a ‘a competent building contractor and/or engineer to identify and rectify the suspected sources of the water leaks.’ Did this occur before workers returned to the office?
- Have mechanical air scrubbers been installed throughout work areas, as recommended?
- Has DCT engaged hygienists to undertake another mould spore count after works were conducted, as recommended?
- Has work commenced or been undertaken to create adequate draining systems to ensure that overflow water does not enter the building envelope?
- Given Presna recommend works to be undertaken on the ceilings of both wings of level 1 before the space becomes operational again, how is DCT managing the flow of staff on level 1?
- Has a ventilation system been installed within the cleaner’s cupboard on the ground floor, if not, what consideration was given to the introduction of one and what were the deciding factors to not install one?
- Have mechanical drying machines been employed as recommended on level 1, if so, were tests conducted after their use to confirm that the moisture levels have returned to a safe level?
- The report recommends that further investigation should be undertaken into building voids to assess whether the likelihood of hidden mould exists within the work area, has this been completed?
We will let you know once we have received a response. We will continue to push for another inspection undertaken by the CPSU and HSR’s prior to the building becoming occupied once again.
The CPSU’s main advice is – if you do not feel comfortable working from the office until works have completed and an inspect has been undertaken, continue to work from home.
Feel free to reach out if you need anything, my number is 0407 637 735.
Woodhouse is just one example, but will be a familiar story for countless public sector workers across the state experiencing inadequate accommodation, or looking to be meaningfully consulted with by their employer. You should be asking whether your work group has an elected HSR. If not, get one ASAP.
HSRs have unique powers under the Work Health & Safety Act 2012 are an asset all workers should be able to rely on if your Employer fails to uphold their duties under the act to consult with workers and uphold your right to a safe workplace. If you’re interested in more information about getting a HSR, email firstname.lastname@example.org.