30 November 2022

Cross River Rail Delivery Authority put workers at risk of electrical shocks

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) has become aware of serious safety breaches on the Cross River Rail project, where the electrics are in breach of Australian standards.

Workers at the Bowen Hills stabling yard for the Cross River Rail project are at serious risk of electrical burns or worse, and the ETU has reported the breach to the Electrical Safety Office after the union found that correct separation processes had not been followed.

“I attended a meeting with Queensland Rail representatives last week, and all I heard was blame shifting and avoiding responsibility,” says Jason Young, ETU President and Rail Coordinator. “Queensland Rail is attempting to put band aids on the problems, the union is calling for them to turn it off and hand it back to the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority.”

The power has been switched on at a stabling yard despite it being completely in breach of electrical safety standards. Queensland Rail representatives have confirmed that, Cross River Rail, and the private contractor managing the project are all aware of the risks.

“I don’t care where the issue started or which organisation is responsible, it needs to be fixed. Workers are at risk and all we’re hearing is blame shifting.

“I’ve been told that the contractors have decided all workers need to do to protect themselves and wear PPE while onsite, which means they’re completely aware of the dangers,” says Mr Young. The power needs to be switched off and no workers should be on site.”

“I have viewed reports showing an average measurement of four amps of electricity in the earth cabling in the yard at Bowen Hills. For context, four amps is enough to stop your heart. The readings should be 0,” says Mr Young.

ETU State Secretary Peter Ong advises that the breach has been lodged at the Electrical Safety Office, and that nobody will be working nor on site until the issue is fixed.

“At the end of the day, it’s the responsibility of the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority to take charge of this electrical safety hazard. The project might be between two organisations and a contractor, but it’s the Delivery Authority’s issue to address, and as far as the ETU is concerned, that’s who’s responsible for these workers’ safety.

“It’s not enough to put band aids on the problem. This is an unsafe workplace, it’s as simple as that. The Cross River Rail Delivery Authority needs to take charge of this before someone is injured,” says Mr Ong.

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For more information, please call Peter Ong on 0419 721 046 or Jason Young on 0419 721 044.