Topics:  bechtel, qclng, safety representative, strike

QCLNG worker says he was fired for raising safety concerns

AS A health and safety representative on the QCLNG site, Joe Munro was chosen by his work mates to put forward their safety concerns.

He claims to have done just that and paid the ultimate price.

"I was called in for a disciplinary meeting on Tuesday," he said.

"I was told I was no longer required on site."

Until Tuesday, Mr Munro was employed by Bechtel as a crane operator.

He said there had been a build-up of accidents on the site over many months.

"About three or four months ago a bloke got hit across the face with a wire," Mr Munro said.

"It smashed him off the 1.8m platform.

"He's still not working, he's not real good."

Mr Munro recalls several recent incidents where objects have been dropped from height, the latest involving a crowbar.

"We've been asking to have procedures put in place to try and stop the objects falling," he said.

"They introduced a tool lanyard policy three to four weeks ago but as of last week there were still none available."

Mr Munro said a hammer being dropped on a worker's head last week was the last straw for 57 workers.

"We had a meeting and the boys voted that we sit in the crib huts until something was done about it," he said.

"We decided on a stoppage of work due to a reasonable belief that there was a safety hazard."

"The boys haven't been happy for a long time."

Mr Munro said everyone who was involved in the sit-in was given a written warning.

"It was my job to stand up for the boys and that's what I did," he said.

"If you say anything, you're just putting your job on the line."

In response to Mr Munro's allegations, Bechtel Gladstone general manager Kevin Berg said the worker involved in the incident several months ago had been supported by Bechtel throughout his recovery and was working with the company's return-to-work co-ordinators to be placed back on the project.

Mr Berg said tool lanyards were available for all employees on site and were required to be used when working at heights.

"The use of tool lanyards and working-at-heights procedures are common practice across our projects and are fully implemented."


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