Workers at a building site in Sydney's Barangaroo say that although there have been multiple discoveries of asbestos on site, no advice or training has been offered by management as to the safe handling of the dangerous fibres.
The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) said that construction work was stopped yesterday morning (April 10) after the 13th pocket of asbestos was uncovered.
CFMEU state secretary Brian Parker said it is unlikely that work will resume until the area has been shown to be completely free of the substance.
He added that both workers and the public could be in danger, as fibres could be blown away from the site by wind.
However, the construction site manager Lend Lease has denied that any asbestos has been found on the site.
The government of New South Wales states that if found in small amounts and left undisturbed, asbestos fibres may not be dangerous.
The removal and treatment of asbestos, however, should be handled by a registered professional due to the fibres' unpredictable nature once airborne.
Disturbing or moving it unsafely can be a health risk - covering or wetting the area on discovery is a good way to reduce the risk of stirring up fibres.