Rta To Investigate Claims Made By Unions

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14th October 2010, 08:35pm - Views: 1380

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14 OCTOBER 2010



The RTA will fully investigate claims from unions today that workers on the Sydney

Harbour Bridge have been placed at risk of cancer.

A meeting was held this morning between a number of union organisers and RTA

employees at the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Afterward, a meeting was held between the

organisers and management at the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 

The unions provided several demands to the RTA, specifically that:

The RTA along with the Unions investigate the likelihood of the development of a

cancer cluster amongst previous and current Bridge workers. Also the RTA conduct an

immediate review of safe work systems in relation to the removal of lead paint and all

employees on site be paid lead paint removal allowance  

An RTA spokesperson said the RTA considers the safety of its staff of the highest

priority and takes concerns about health conditions seriously.

“As such, we intend to fully investigate whether there is a health risk to workers on the

Sydney Harbour Bridge,” the spokesperson said.

“The RTA holds no records of staff working on the Bridge having cancer and a link

between the Sydney Harbour Bridge and cancer has never been previously raised by

the unions, however concerns about health issues must always take priority.

“We have world class safety standards in place to minimise the risk of exposure to

toxins. The CSIRO has commended the RTA for being an industry leader in the

protective equipment management of lead paint removal. 

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“The organisation is one of select few in Australia with CSIRO accreditation for lead

paint removal and replacement.

“In fact, a health monitoring program which measures exposure to lead and other

chemicals for all workers on the Bridge has been in place for many years.

“Blood is tested for lead and zinc every six months, full blood and biological testing is

done every 12 months and lung testing is carried out by the Dust Disease Board every

three years.

“The safety standards and monitoring process has proven effective with bridge workers

current blood lead levels falling well below the work cover guidelines,” the

spokesperson said.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is maintained by a team of around 80 full time RTA

employees and the RTA meets regularly with union representatives to discuss industrial

matters including OHS matters. 


The unions have not yet provided the RTA with any details about the alleged link

between maintenance workers and cancer, however the RTA will act swiftly to

investigate the concerns.



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