18 September 2011

Mitchell opens up and WorkSafe gears up

| johnboy
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The ESA has announced they’re re-opening parts of Mitchell:

Thanks to the swift actions of the ESA and EPA who have conducted comprehensive sampling and testing we are now able to confirm that the test results have conclusively shown no contaminants or toxins from the fire within the Mitchell exclusion zone.

This means the exclusion zone in Mitchell will now be reduced to the factory fire site in Dacre Street and the industrial estate in which it is located.

Roads which will remain closed are Tooth Street, Dacre Street and Pelle Street.

The remaining exclusion zone is necessary because of the extensive presence of a residue which does not pose a significant human health hazard, but which can best be cleaned up under the supervision of the EPA before providing access back into the area.

Areas outside of that small exclusion zone in Mitchell are now open to the public.

As a precaution people are asked to still exercise some caution when entering Mitchell.

You should avoid disturbing any dust or other material you come into contact with and contact Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.

The water runoff from the fire has been contained by the EPA. There is no danger to Canberra’s drinking water or waterways.

Clean up operations will continue within the reduced exclusion zone in Mitchell.

All schools closed on Friday will reopen tomorrow morning as usual and cancelled Action bus services will resume.

The ACT Government is considering compensation issues around clean up costs and loss of revenue for affected businesses.

The ACT Government will continue to provide updates to the community in the coming days via the ACT Government website www.act.gov.au, social media, Canberra Connect Call Centre and the local media.

And also today WorkSafe announced they’d be taking a look at just what the hell happened.

The purpose of the WorkSafe investigation is to determine whether there are any work health and safety issues that either led to or arise out of the incident.

Investigators will consider, for example, whether the fire occurred due to some failure to comply with the Territory’s health and safety laws and, if so, what lessons should be learnt, what action should be taken and whether any person or persons should be held accountable for the event.

Outcomes could range from a finding that the fire was not due to any work health and safety failure, through to recommendations for improvements to overall or specific business or regulatory processes, through to recommendations for prosecution of individuals or businesses involved.

The duration of the investigation will be determined by the extent of the issues identified by the Worksafe investigators.

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