A significant amount of asbestos has been exposed during road works at the Chandler Highway in Melbourne.
A union expressed concern over the incident saying that the workers and community were put at risk.
The CFMEU said it stopped demolition work at the site after asbestos was discovered in the soil.
“Large amounts of asbestos have been found in the soil,” CFMEU safety unit head, Gerry Ayers told ABC.
“It is friable asbestos, which means the fibres are easily released.
“Not only are the workers potentially exposed to asbestos, but also residents and anyone passing by.”
The road widening project commenced this year and was scheduled to be finished in late 2018.
VicRoads chief executive John Merritt said the public area was safe and that work was stopped right after asbestos was uncovered on Tuesday.
“The site is safe, the material has been isolated and managed… and we’ll make sure the materials are handled in a way the public is protected,” he said.
“Prior to work starting, quite a deal of sampling of the soils had been taken, but none of that revealed any asbestos contamination. Unfortunately, once the excavations have taken place, concerns were raised.”
WorkSafe inspectors were at the site to investigate.