08:06 am, Tuesday 14 September, 2010
A school in Burpengary has been fined after dangerous asbestos particles were released during a demolition work.
Education Queensland said it is investigating the incident and looking into the issue of asbestos contamination.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) sent an inspector to the school on Wednesday after receiving complaints about a lack of proper barricading and excessive noise at the construction site.
The WHSQ inspector discovered the major safety breach by chance when he saw a contractor disassembling buildings, which are believed to be more than 25 years old.
The worker was reportedly carving through asbestos sheeting with power tools to make way for a Building the Education Revolution-funded teaching block.
According to Education Queensland, none of the 1,050 students and staff were in the area during the incident.
Acting Deputy Director General of Infrastructure Services Graham Atkins said WHSQ has imposed a $1600 penalty due to the incident, payable by the school. The contractor has also been ordered to pay a fine of $800.
Atkins said protocol had been disregarded, noting that a Work Area Access Permit had not been issued by the school to the contractor before demolition started. The document was supposed to identify all locations of asbestos and its condition.
“This matter will be reviewed as part of the department’s investigation into this incident.”
He clarified that the demolition work was not funded by BER, although it was undertaken for preparation for a BER-funded project.
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