Statement attributable to Salini Impregilo-NRW JV Project Director Richard Graham

We refute every one of these claims and emphasise they are the latest in a series of unfounded allegations in relation to safety standards on our site.

We are building this State’s most technically difficult piece of public infrastructure and continued false claims in relation to our safety record sadly undermines the incredible achievements of our teams.

We are regularly assessed by both State and Federal authorities. In addition, and working together with our client PTA, in 2019 alone we have undertaken over 1000 joint safety inspections covering procedures, compliance, hazards and targeted processes. We welcome scrutiny and questions regarding our work but again regret the need to address falsehoods.

Hyperbaric intervention work is one of the most dangerous tasks on our project. Our team is highly skilled, highly trained and have the required Australian Standard qualification (AS4774.1 Work in compressed air and hyperbaric facilities, work in tunnels, shafts and caissons). Our Australian diver accreditation scheme (ADAS) is valid up to June 2022. We have precise procedures which must be followed before, during and after every “dive”. There are layers of additional checks and back-ups to every safety procedure. On top of this, the PTA Safety Compliance Officer performs rounds and additional checks on the hyperbaric interventions, often across every shift.

For clarity we provide the following point by point assertions against each claim:

Claim: Training/qualifications of operators.
Response: This is a false claim. Only trained operators are authorised to operate the manlock during a hyperbaric intervention. This has always been the case. The training course is provided by an experienced and highly qualified external trainer. Workers are trained in a classroom and onsite for three days. Lock operators undertake a more intensive five-day course.

Claim: Equipment and pre-start.
Response: Another false claim. All hyperbaric interventions are approved by the tunnel manager, the checklist is signed off by the lock operator and this is verified by the compressed air operations supervisor (CAOS).

Claim: Alleged incident.
Response: This is a false claim. No such incident was ever reported. All operators have fulfilled the requirements to gain the Australian Standard qualification (AS4774.1 Work in compressed air and hyperbaric facilities, work in tunnels, shafts and caissons.). In addition, bends watch is conducted for up to three hours after a hyperbaric intervention, depending on the decompression time.
For back-up, Dr Neil Banham, Director of Hyperbaric Medicine at Fiona Stanley Hospital, is provided with 48 hours’ notice prior to any hyperbaric interventions in the event of an emergency that cannot be treated at the medical lock on site.

Claim: Attendance at medical lock
Response: False claim. A standard prerequisite for any hyperbaric intervention is that a medical lock operator is on site.

Claim: Location of medical lock operator during dive.
Response: This is also a false claim. Our requirement and prerequisite for any intervention is that the assigned medical lock operator is on site and not involved in the dive.

Claim: Logging of dives.
Response: This is a false claim. All dive records are registered and submitted to our Safety team.

Claim: Condition of workers participating in hyperbaric work.
Response: This is false. All team members participating in a hyperbaric intervention must meet three requirements:
1. They must have completed relevant hyperbaric training.
2. They must hold a valid commercial divers’ medical.
3. They must be medically fit to work in a pressurised environment.

Claim: Use of valves and parts
Response: This is a false claim. All valves and parts are new and in good working order before being used on our site.

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