The path of fear leading to the Mitchell fire

johnboy 24 January 2012
mitchell fire

The ABC is getting excited about the litany of exposed failures which were not dealt with before the plant full of deadly poison in the middle of Canberra exploded and filled the sky with black smoke.

Documents released under freedom of information (FOI) and dating back several years, reveal WorkCover inspectors and the ACT Fire Brigade found numerous problems with the company’s equipment and safety practises before the fire.

They included untidy workspaces, wrongly stored fire extinguishers and unmarked oil drums.

On one occasion, a fire started after an oily rag was left next to a hot pipe.

In another incident, three workers suffered burns from a chemical spill.

A Fire Brigade inspector raised concerns the plant’s systems appeared to be homemade.

But an investigation found no evidence of any attempt to bend health and safety rules.

Inspectors noted the company was taking all steps possible to protect the health and safety of its workers and some unfounded complaints had been made.

The full FOI release is on the Open Government site.

[Photo by John Lafferty]

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