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Water Corporation staff exposed to potential asbestos risk

An investigation needs to be held into how up to 88 people were potentially exposed to asbestos particles during maintenance work at a Water Corporation tank in the Wheatbelt.

That is the view of the Community and Public Sector Union/Civil Service Association after learning some of its members and private contractors discovered asbestos in the tank’s lining and outside cladding.

They were working on the Minnivale facility between Dowerin and Wyalkatchem when they discovered the asbestos risk.

“It is concerning that the Corporation’s asbestos register didn’t identify the risks in these parts of the facility,” CPSU/CSA branch assistant secretary Rikki Hendon said.

“We are now calling for a full investigation into how these people were unnecessarily exposed to asbestos and we want improved structures in place to prevent this from happening again in the future.

“We also want the Barnett Government to reconsider the cuts it has made to the Water Corporation’s occupational, health and safety branch in light of these incidents.

“People have the right to go to work each day and perform their duties in a safe and risk-free manner.

“Incidents like this are symbolic of what happens when governments cut back on services.”

Ms Hendon said a full assessment needs to be made on how many occupational, health and safety positions have been removed over the years and what impact this will have on people working out in the field.

FOR COMMENT: FOR INFORMATION:
Rikki Hendon
CPSU/CSA Branch Assistant Secretary
(08)  9323 3800

Darren O’Dea
CPSU/CSA Media Liaison Officer
M: 0421  934 794
P:  (08) 9323 3855
E:  darren.odea@cpsucsa.org

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