Two workers at Jeeralang Power Station in Latrobe Valley, east of Melbourne, were removing a piece of the plant around a gas turbine when they were showered with a substance later on identified as asbestos.  

Energy Australia, the power plant owner, has confirmed in its report to WorkSafe that the victims were performing maintenance work in an area where a component was “identified as potentially containing asbestos”.

Failure to Comply with the Asbestos Procedures

According to the assessment of the Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union (CFMEU), the company did not fully follow the guidelines of managing asbestos in the workplace. 

“There seems to be an oversight in compliance with those regulations and procedures when you suspect that any piece of plant would contain asbestos,” says Toby Thornton, the CFMEU’s construction and general organiser for Gippsland. 

He further added that more people could have been potentially exposed. 

Meanwhile, Energy Australia claims to have responded accordingly.

In the statement, the spokesman said the operator in charge at Jeeralang had immediately stopped work on that area of the plant so no other people could enter. 

Furthermore, the area had been cleared and a certificate was issued to resume work in the area.

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