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Serious safety concerns in Art Gallery refurbishment

12 August 2015
Media Release

Fulton Hogan ignores serious safety concerns in Christchurch Art Gallery refurbishment

Workplace inspectors from EPMU Construction have twice been denied access to the Christchurch Art Gallery site as they attempt to raise serious health and safety concerns with the company in charge of the refurbishment, Fulton Hogan.

These concerns include tripping and falling risks, poor access to areas of the worksite, and unsafe electrical hazards, with wiring running through wet areas and over exposed rebar with no safety precautions in place.

“There are significant risks to workers and visitors on the site, and we’ve tried to explain this to Fulton Hogan management several times,” says Ron Angel, EPMU Construction industry organiser.

“They have responded by continuing work in unsafe areas, getting lawyers’ letters refusing us entry, and deploying security guards to stop us talking to their workers.

“This simply is not good enough. They’re claiming ignorance of electrical safety rules which exist to keep construction workers safe.

“Fulton Hogan have been repeatedly informed of the risks they’re exposing people to. We want to help them identify the issues and keep their workers safe. Their response has been to obstruct us and carry on regardless.”

EPMU Construction is calling on the regulators and Government to enforce health and safety in the Christchurch rebuild.

“The public need to know that the job of rebuilding this city is being done properly,” says Ron Angel. “When big companies with key contracts are ignoring the most basic safety precautions, you have to ask if that’s happening.”

EPMU Construction previously had work halted at another Fulton Hogan site where asbestos-containing pipe was being worked on in the open street with no safety precautions being taken.


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