WorkSafe ACT has this afternoon issued a Prohibition Notice and an Improvement Notice following an incident in which a gas line was damaged yesterday.
The incident resulted in a large gas line being damaged by machinery during excavation works which caused significant traffic disruption along Northbourne Avenue and neighbouring areas.
ACT Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones said this incident was entirely preventable and was therefore clearly unsatisfactory in relation to safe operations on the project.
“This was a major gas line strike and we have significant concerns around how Canberra Metro and subcontractors are identifying, recording and protecting utilities along the project route,” Mr Jones said.
“We have now had a number of utility strikes including gas, electricity and water as well as other infrastructure such as light poles being damaged. It is fortunate that significant injuries have not occurred as a result of these incidents.
“Today I met with senior officers involved in the project to express my concerns around utilities protection and management and I have received assurances that improvements will be made quickly to prevent such incidents re-occurring.
“Until WorkSafe ACT is confident that the improvements are adequate and have been successfully implemented a Prohibition Notice preventing mechanical excavation at the site will remain in force. This means other works can continue except those relating to excavation.
“An Improvement Notice has also been issued around safety procedures to ensure timely reporting to emergency services when such incidents occur.”
Mr Jones said while activities continue to ramp up on the site, safety must remain the highest priority on this project.
“This is a project which is not only of great prominence but also complexity. Therefore safety must remain the overarching consideration of workers and project officers working on this project,” he said.
“WorkSafe ACT will continue to closely monitor works on the light rail site to ensure they are being undertaken safely. We have three dedicated light rail inspectors, who, working in partnership with all WorkSafe inspectors are focussing on the safety of the site for the benefit of workers and the general community.”
- Statement ends -
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