A pile of rubble was found to be blocking an emergency exit at the Hume recycling plant. (ABC News)
Canberra’s recycling facility has been shut down after numerous threats to worker safety were found at the Hume site.
- Worksafe ACT says operational failures over Christmas allowed piles of flammable material to mount up
- He says the facility is likely to be closed until late in the week
- Numerous safety issues at the centre are putting workers at risk
The Materials Recovery Facility in Hume was issued several prohibition notices by Worksafe ACT on Thursday evening, after an inspection discovered electrical issues, problems with fuel and gas supply, missing fire extinguishers and piles of rubble blocking safety exits.
Safety rails were also missing around “dangerous” equipment like conveyor belts.
Work safety commissioner Greg Jones said it was fortunate the issues were spotted before a worker was seriously injured or killed.
Workers are employed to sort through recycling collected at the site in Hume. (Supplied: ACT Government)
“It is really poor management in terms of exposing workers to those sort of risks,” Mr Jones said.
“We are making sure that all of those issues are fixed, and they must be done appropriately to our satisfaction before they can reopen.”
Mr Jones said the plant would likely remain closed until at least late in the week.
He said there had “clearly” been operational failures over the Christmas period that allowed piles of flammable material to mount up within the building.
“Obviously some major remedial work needs to be done,” he said.
Mr Jones said the 250 tonnes of Canberra waste processed daily at the plant would be stockpiled at the Mugga Lane tip until it reopens.
He expected minimal delays to recycling collection.
City services Minister Chris Steel has been contacted for comment.