Smoke shuts down city construction

By Meg Hill

Bushfire smoke blanketing the city in January caused construction to grind to a halt, as conditions became too dangerous for outside work.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) issued warnings of “very poor” and “hazardous” air quality in parts of Melbourne through different parts of January.

On January 15 the Construction Forestry Mining Electricity Union (CFMEU) warned against working in the conditions.

“If you look around the city skyline there are no cranes moving, most construction sites have been shut down,” a CFMEU spokesperson told CBD News.

There are no existing agreements between the CFMEU and employers regarding air quality and work, but different sites had decided the conditions were too dangerous to work in.

A post on the CFMEU’s Facebook page read: “No outdoor work while conditions are at hazardous or very poor … this is making outdoor work dangerous and unhealthy.”

“It is advised to have all personnel relocated to a healthier and safe environment.”

“When air quality drops to poor and work can recommence, consideration should be given to those that have any medical conditions.”

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