Monday, 28 Nov 2022

Unions allege safety concerns after worker on Sydney Metro tunnel died of heart attack

Unions allege safety concerns after worker on Sydney Metro tunnel died of heart attack


Unions allege safety concerns after worker on Sydney Metro tunnel died of heart attack

A worker died of a heart attack during construction of the Sydney Metro tunnel near Barangaroo station amid allegations from the unions that a defibrillator was not readily available in the construction zone.

Sydney Metro strongly disputes the union claim. However, it acknowledged additional defibrillators were deployed in the tunnels after the incident, which occurred on 6 July.

Whistleblowers inside Sydney Metro management told Guardian Australia they feel under pressure to downgrade the seriousness of safety issues, and that learnings from incidents are not being shared.

The incident has come to light as part of a Guardian investigation into safety breaches on the $40bn Sydney Metro and Metro West project.

In the last six months, these have included: a trailer-style carriage carrying equipment that decoupled and ran uncontrolled for 1.5km through the half-built tunnel; an escalator that fell four floors while being installed at Martin Place station; collapses at the Parramatta site during demolition; and crashes between large trucks that lost traction on the rails while driving into the tunnels.

Both the ETU and CFMEU have alleged there were delays in treating the man and there was no nearby defibrillator available.

According to the ETU, which provided a picture of the defibrillator unit in the tunnel, the defibrillator was in a locked box with a glass panel, accessible via a key code. After workers were unable gain access to the box by radioing management, they had to physically remove the glass.

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