Incident on RHH Redevelopment site

11 February 2017

Ben Moloney, RHH Redevelopment project director

Incident on RHH Redevelopment site

The RHH Redevelopment has been advised of a potential asbestos exposure on the project site, Project Director, Ben Moloney said today.

“I have been advised that some of the Managing Contractor’s workers have potentially been exposed to asbestos undertaking work in an area of E-Block at the Royal Hobart Hospital,” Mr Moloney said.

Mr Moloney said that the works had been undertaken in an isolated construction zone not a patient or staff area.

“What is of upmost importance is that the potentially affected workers are offered support, together with detailed incident briefings and these have been instigated by the Managing Contractor.”

Mr Moloney said that the presence of asbestos at the Royal Hobart Hospital was well known which was why the project employed strict asbestos management procedures.

“To identify and remove asbestos prior to works, RHH Redevelopment commissions an independent hygienist to undertake inspections and testing for asbestos and report on the findings,” Mr Moloney said.

“This involves representative sampling and analysis of dust and building materials to industry standards.”

Mr Moloney said that prior to the commencement of these works in E-Block, the work area was inspected by the hygienist and no sources of asbestos were identified.

A representative number of samples were taken from the work area at the time and all were found to be free of asbestos.

The Managing Contractor was advised and approval was given for the works to proceed.

“However, it appears that due to an administrative error, a single positive test result for asbestos from a prior investigation of the same area was not identified by the hygienist.”

“We are acting immediately to ensure our safety procedures are strictly enforced,” Mr Moloney said.

“Appropriate cleaning of the construction area has been completed.”

WorkSafe Tasmania has been notified of the matter.

14 Feb 2017