New Perth Children’s Hospital rooftop atrium riddled with asbestos.

Published: 14 Jul 2016

Workers and future patients at risk

The new Perth Children’s Hospital atrium roof is riddled with a dangerous asbestos product imported from China.

The product imported by the company YUANDA is a fibrous based material that is used as a filler to stop vibrations between the external cladding and internal panelling.

CFMEU WA state secretary Mick Buchan says: “Our immediate concern is for the workers who have installed this product and also for the potential on-going health risks to workers and future 
patients at the hospital.

The product has been found to contain Chrysotile which is a type of asbestos. John Holland the project developers failed to conduct any pre-site or on-site tests of the product prior to installation. Our view is there is NO safe threshold when it comes to asbestos.

“It’s another massive bungle by John Holland, who allowed this product to come onsite without being tested to ascertain if it met Australian safety standards. Our union has been warning that cheap imported products should not go from ship to shore to site without being tested beforehand. We allege that Holland’s have gone for a cheaper product to cut costs and in doing so have put the health and welfare of workers at risk, let alone future occupants of the hospital”.

The hospital has been beset with problems since the beginning, State Treasurer Mike Nathan recently lashed out at the John Holland Group over its construction of Perth Children’s Hospital, describing the $1.2 billion project as “plagued by process problems”.

It’s not good enough, according to Buchan; “The appointment by the State Government of the John Holland Group to build such an important project for the people of our state has proven to be an unmitigated disaster. Apart from problems with sub-contractors not being paid on time we now have workers who have cut, sawn, nailed and drilled this product without any protection. You would think after the James Hardie situation companies would learn, but they haven’t. We demand that governments both state and federal ban the use of cheap imported products that don’t meet stringent Australian standards. John Holland needs take immediate action to make the site safe.

Asbestos is a hazardous material known to cause fatal mesothelioma and lung cancer, as well as being linked to cancer of the colon, vocal chords and asbestosis.

Workers have the right to go to work and do their job without the fear of being exposed to deadly material in the workplace.

Mick Buchan

State Secretary