I Was Forced To Work With Asbestos at Work for the Dole – A first hand account

Sandor Szolnoki, AUWU Member

Attention everyone: recently i was placed into a Work for the Dole (wftd) activity which was ok basically just painting a gymnasium, the supervisors on that project were good but that activity stopped after 2 months I had completed I was risk assessment prior and even trained in manual handling.

Now I’ve been placed into a new wfd that is renovating a old house without been risk assessed which i have to attend for another 6 months and the supervisor there is basically a slave driver and non safety compliant the second day I attended on the site he instructed me to remove soil to install paving which having a short look i FOUND ASBESTOS so i refused to work in that area.

The day before I removed some material from that area and NOW there is a possibility of ME being EXPOSED to ASBESTOS I put in a incident report with my supervisor who did not believe it was ASBESTOS so he collected the ASBESTOS material and took it to a ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT CENTER with me to doubt my belief that it was.The management center CONFIRMED THAT IT IS ASBESTOS AND ALSO WILL BE TESTED FOR GRADE and the dwelling was on the asbestos register but all asbestos was supposed to have been removed and there was a warning sticker on the window of the wfd house which my supervisor removed which stated before commencing work on site refer to ASBESTOS REGISTER which he did not . I have also contacted SAFE WORK SA who will be investigating the incident and I will pursuit to my best abilities I will relay they outcome of my situation as the investigation goes on so BEWARE any one who has to attend WFD and basically forced to do any unsafe work or in unsafe working conditions to avoid being cut off from centrelink benefits.