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Ex-Fluffy contract worker raises looting allegations

By Charlotte Harper 12 May 2016 24

Mr Fluffy

UnionsACT is calling for the immediate suspension of all Mr Fluffy demolition work and contracts in light of allegations by an ex-worker that his former employer looted asbestos-tainted material from homes set for demolition.

UnionsACT and the CFMEU have called on the ACT Government to conduct an urgent inquiry into the allegations and to “initiate a criminal investigation into the contractors implicated in alleged looting, including the possibility of charges of reckless endangerment”.

The Asbestos Taskforce has referred the matter to ACT Policing.

UnionsACT Secretary Alex White said the Government and Worksafe ACT should take urgent action to halt demolitions, suspend licenses and conduct an inquiry into how this has happened.

“We are also calling on the Government to initiate a criminal investigation into the companies involved,” he said.

“It is appalling to think that the contractors involved not only thought they could get away with looting Mr. Fluffy houses, but that they were prepared to put the community at grave risk of exposure to asbestos.”

An article in The Canberra Times today reports that material including household possessions and whitegoods was removed from Mr Fluffy properties without proper risk assessments or approval from the regulator.

Former residents of Mr Fluffy homes had in some cases been forced to leave household goods and personal items, including children’s toys, behind when they moved out due to potential contamination.

UnionsACT expressed its concern for those families, and about a potential risk of exposure for workers who may have been involved in the removal of such items from homes. It also raised concerns for anyone else who has already or may come into contact with the items subsequently.

In a statement this morning, UnionsACT called on the Asbestos Taskforce to “urgently determine the proper location of all material removed from Mr. Fluffy properties.”

“If asbestos tainted items have been looted from Mr. Fluffy houses, this would be a serious betrayal of trust by the contractors involved,” it said.


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Ex-Fluffy contract worker raises looting allegations
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chewy14 8:08 pm 17 May 16

Holden Caulfield said :

chewy14 said :

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/lifetime-risk-of-mesothelioma-from-fluffy-asbestos-homes-16-in-100000-20150727-gil4aa.html

“Asbestosis was not a risk for people living in Fluffy houses, given the levels of exposure. Other than lung cancer and mesothelioma, two cancers were known to be caused by asbestos – ovarian cancer and laryngeal cancer, but there were no accepted models of exposure and risk from which their lifetime risk could be estimated.

To put the Fluffy risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma in perspective, Prof Armstrong said the lifetime risk in Australia of dying from Hodgkin lymphoma was 39 in 100,000; lip cancer, seven in 100,000; testicular cancer 18 deaths among 100,000 men; and anal cancer 29 in 100,000. The risk of common cancers were much higher, with the lifetime risk for women of dying of breast cancer at 1333 per 100,000.”

You asked for the information, I provided it. The risk has been studied and quantified.

Now if you’re asking if that risk has been measured against the cost of the Fluffy buyback with an objective cost benefit analysis done then I’d say no it hasn’t, this is clearly the government covering it’s rear politically rather than rationally assessing facts.

Although it’s interesting to see you objecting to the government’s intervention here, aren’t you on another thread supporting lockouts, alcohol trading restrictions and restrictions to individual freedoms because of a knee jerk reaction to a few deaths? Regardless of the overall risk or economic effects which haven’t been adequately or objectively assessed?

HenryBG 10:44 am 17 May 16

chewy14 said :

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/lifetime-risk-of-mesothelioma-from-fluffy-asbestos-homes-16-in-100000-20150727-gil4aa.html

“Asbestosis was not a risk for people living in Fluffy houses, given the levels of exposure. Other than lung cancer and mesothelioma, two cancers were known to be caused by asbestos – ovarian cancer and laryngeal cancer, but there were no accepted models of exposure and risk from which their lifetime risk could be estimated.

To put the Fluffy risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma in perspective, Prof Armstrong said the lifetime risk in Australia of dying from Hodgkin lymphoma was 39 in 100,000; lip cancer, seven in 100,000; testicular cancer 18 deaths among 100,000 men; and anal cancer 29 in 100,000. The risk of common cancers were much higher, with the lifetime risk for women of dying of breast cancer at 1333 per 100,000.”

chewy14 8:44 pm 16 May 16

Masquara said :

Zan said :

chiflean said :

farnarkler said :

Zan said :

Absolutely amazing how such an elementary and obvious problem gets subverted by gobsmacking ignorance portraying itself as considered and informed insight.

.

OK, so here’s your challenge: quantify the risk of living in a Fluffy house.

The known quantified risk that I am aware of comes from Wittenoom, where breathing in *millions* of fibres *daily* over *10 years* gives a 50% chance of mesothelioma.

…and that was blue asbestos, which is known to be many, many times more dangerous than the stuff Fluffy used.

Some Fluffy houses DID have blue asbestos! Most had amosite asbestos, which has the same needle like structure and is nearly as bad. You’ve been told this before and yet you continue to ignore it.

Must admit I agree with the basic sentiment that any risk is too big a risk. But just to clarify for those that don’t know blue asbestos is almost always used in (in residential homes) product like fibro where it is bounded with products. That is far different from say mining the staff or making the fibro boards etc.

Yeah, who needs facts when you’ve got a good head of steam up on your moral panic and hysteria?

I’ve asked over and over again and not one person has provided any quantified risk for what it was Fluffy homeowners had to flee in panic from.
Essentially the risk is unknown, and it is unknown because a risk that small isn’t capable of being known.

Somebody mentioned above that 600 people a year die from mesothelioma.
In 2014, 80% of these deaths were men, and they were aged 70-79.
On the whole, the victims are miners, boilermakers, railway workers, naval workers, carpenters, electricians, power plant workers, plumbers, metal workers and telecommunication workers.
All the at-risk groups for mesothelioma are groups that were exposed to high volumes of dust in an industrial setting.

30% of Australian homes contain asbestos, and yet there is no identified at-risk group that includes “place of residence” for mesothelioma (except for mining towns – but that risk is extra-residential in origin).

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/lifetime-risk-of-mesothelioma-from-fluffy-asbestos-homes-16-in-100000-20150727-gil4aa.html

Masquara 6:47 pm 16 May 16

The issue isn’t about whether or not the furniture poses/posed a risk to anyone now. The issue is about the fact that people were told to leave all their possessions behind, and said possessions absolutely should not have been looted.

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