Asbestos confirmed on solar farm site
ASBESTOS has been confirmed to have contaminated fill being used on the Valdora solar farm site which will remain closed until it is removed.
Construction company Downer said bound asbestos was contained in roof and wall sheeting on the site.
The company is undertaking further inspections to determine how much is present and how much of the site is contaminated.
A Downer spokesperson said it remained unclear as to how long it would take to remove all asbestos from the site.
"It is unclear at this stage, but safety is a priority,'' the spokesperson said.
"Construction work has been suspended and won't resume until we are satisfied that there is no risk to employees' health and safety."
Asked if Downer would be testing the benefit of locator brackets on the poles that support the 1.5tonne solar panels being lifted into place on the site, the spokesperson said the company's process included "continual review of systems for any improvement opportunities".
"Downer is following all appropriate processes, safe working methodology, detailed risk assessments and controls for the task including the use of certified and approved cranes and lifting equipment,'' the spokesperson said.
Electrical Trades Union organiser Dan Bessell was on site again yesterday morning.
He said the $50million Sunshine Coast Council project would remain closed until Downer could get a contractor in to remove the asbestos.
Mr Bessell said it was his understanding the fill had not been tested before it was used.
He said while the suggestion was that any contamination was contained to only a part of the site, workers had noticed further material in grass adjoining the site.
Mr Bessell said Downer had agreed to trial a lifting procedure for the solar panels, suggested by staff, which used locating brackets on top of the poles to guide the panels into place.
On Friday, he had expressed concern about employees having to work below suspended weight as they grappled with wind-buffeted solar panels.
Mr Bessell said the recent crushing of two workers during construction of new centre-track stables at Eagle Farm racecourse had rung alarm bells about workplace health and safety.