Friday 25 May 2012

Public protest at "third-world" Cairns Hospital construction site

The state of the building site at the Cairns Base Hospital has alarmed concerned local who claim it resembles.

A public protect picket will be held this morning to highlight a number of serious safety concerns and sloppy work practices.

Janine Aitken says that you will only see ''jumps'' this old in third-world countries.

"Builders on the Base Hospital construction site are ignoring fundamental safety matters with inferior products being used."

"I saw a worker throwing building materials including large bits of wood and metals from the top yellow platform over the edge," Janine Aitken says.

"I also saw another worker leaning right over the edge to drill something with no harness.  I then observed the same guy do some welding without any welding screens put up."

Aitken says she also saw another worker propped up a ladder with no safety measures.

"He climbed on down, no harness, no three points of contact, no safety at all.  The fact is our ambo's are going to have to find a way to reach these clowns if they are injured and there is no safety exits.  It's a joke."

The Cairns Base Hospital redevelopment is a $500 million dollar project.

"It's being done on the cheap," Aitken says.   "If we don't stand up for this, we will spend the next 20 years band-aiding it because it wasn't done properly the first place.

The construction is being undertaken by Abigroup, one of Lend Lease companies operating in Australia.   They were selected in 2010 as the managing contractor to redevelop Cairns Base Hospital which involves the new clinical services building and the refurbishment of the existing Blocks A, B and C.

Abigroup’s Queensland manager Steve Abson said at the time of being awarded the contract that Abigroup was committed to maintaining Queensland Health’s service delivery to the Cairns community throughout the delivery of the project.”

"The project will require detailed planning and coordination due to significant space constraints and the sensitivity of working in a hospital precinct environment," Steve Abson said.

Now there is an urgent call for building inspectors to intervene on the construction site.

"This construction is third world style, with inferior jumps, materials, and safety is being ignored with  workers being bullied," Janine Aitken says.

1 comment:

knrhill said...

Cairns deserves better, our construction workers deserve better, our mates deserve better than what is being served up here. We have a half Billion Dollar project that was promised to be be first class. The contract was awarded to an out of townmulti national company that has employed bully boy managers who intimidate workers and the safety comitee, aledgedly punch Union officials (imagine the headlines around Australia if the tables were turned on that event alone) and allow antiquated building processes and mindsets to continue on site to the very clear detriment of safety. We had to sell our airport for this project in the interests of building a first class hospital that we so badly needed, and stimulate the local economy by way of employment opportunities. Well if this is what you get for $500, 000, 000 then that is disgraceful!. We often hear before politicians of all persuasions, at all levels that they will be the voice of the area in the big city, not the voice of the big city in this area, but what do you know our mates have been out on strike over legitimate safety issues for close to two weeks and the lack of noise from politicians has been disgraceful, except perhaps Ritchie Bates. Perhaps we shouldn't expect that much from "our elected reps" in the first place!
Rob Hill