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Update: Asbestos in C and K Sets

Jul 7, 2017Bulletins

Bulletin 33 – 2017,

To: All RTBU Sydney Trains Members,

We continue to have serious concerns regarding the discovery of Asbestos Dust in some of Sydney Trains’ rolling stock; namely C and K sets.

After members across the Sydney Trains Network told management that they expect a safe working environment Sydney Trains Acting Chief Executive Gary Pederson issued a “Message” and “Q and A” late last night. Mr Pederson confirmed the presence of Asbestos Dust and offered his view that employees and passengers are safe. Given the serious health risk exposure to Asbestos Dust poses, these assurances are wholly inadequate.

Mr Pederson also stated that the discovery of Asbestos Dust was a result of remedial work to fit K and C set trains with the ATP system. A similar situation arose in 2006 with the implementation of the Vigilance system. In that instance, the then Deputy Premier Mr John Watkins intervened to advise that the NSW Government will not allow employees or the public to be exposed to risks of Asbestos. Mr Watkins provided further assurances to members and the travelling public by engaging “external independent consultants” to confirm that there is no risk posed by any Asbestos products on our trains. He also assisted in establishing a WorkCover consultative committee to ensure a coordinated response to the Asbestos Dust.

We have written to management, asking that the same assurances be provided and the WorkCover consultative committee is re-established.

You have a right to know you are safe at work.  Sydney Trains needs to be proactive about your health and transparent with information which may affect your health.

Until these assurances can be provided, your Union will support Members who undertake a risk assessment about the safety of their work environment. If your concerns have not been resolved, contact your line manager and seek further assurances/guarantees.

Please Note: This evening we have received written assurances from the Acting Chief Executive stating that there is No risk of asbestos exposure to either Train Crew Employees or customers.

We have also been advised that Safework NSW have been notified and will participate in an on-site meeting next week to discuss current and future asbestos remediation works.

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