Work Health and Safety

A high priority was placed on ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of community members and workers during the Macdonaldtown Gasworks Remediation. The Environment and Community sections of this website describe how the health of community members was protected. The information below is about how the health and safety of workers was maintained during the project.

An integrated set of management plans, tools, and resources were developed that defined how health and safety was to be managed at all levels. Prior to commencing project activities, the team’s engineers conducted a comprehensive investigation of the potential risks presented by the remediation project. This process included Hazard Operability Studies (HAZOPs) of physical and process risks and a Qualitative Occupational Hygiene Assessment (QOHA) of health and biological risks.

Industry experts approved by Government regulators are frequently engaged by the project contractor, Ventia, to review its methodologies, protocols and processes, ensuring that the best known practices are employed to control risks at their highest levels. The development, implementation, review and monitoring of management plans is achieved through a comprehensive quality control program that is subject to regular internal and external audits.

Access to the Macdonaldtown Gasworks Remediation site was restricted to authorised personnel.  Everyone engaged to work on the site received an induction detailing Ventia’s Health Safety and Environment Culture and the control measures for all identified risks. Prior to commencing work on the site, personnel engaged to work in contaminated areas underwent a detailed health assessment, ensuring that everyone presenting to work was physically fit and able to work. At the end of the project, workers were reassessed to ensure that their health had been maintained.

In addition, Occupational Health and Hygiene (OHH) procedures set out controls for managing health and biological risks. An OHH assessment determined workers’ personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements for their protection from chemicals, noise, fine particulate and heat stress. Following this assessment, a comprehensive OHH monitoring program was established to evaluate and protect the health of workers in relation to the potential health risks. These included, but were not limited to: chemical hazards (including particulate and gases), physical hazards (including noise and heat stress) and biological hazards. Environmental sampling for the OHH monitoring program was conducted with a combination of ‘real time’ monitoring and analytical analysis performed at a laboratory accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA). The results of the monitoring were communicated regularly to the project workforce.

The OHH program was overseen by an accredited Occupational Hygienist, who reviewed work practices and the results of all monitoring to ensure the ongoing protection of workers’ health throughout the remediation project.