More 'concerning incidents' at peninsula site

A Fulton Hogan roller slipped off the Portobello Rd work site and into Otago Harbour last week....
A Fulton Hogan roller slipped off the Portobello Rd work site and into Otago Harbour last week. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
More incidents of ''concern'' involving Fulton Hogan staff have been reported at the Peninsula Connection work site, but the Dunedin City Council remains confident its contractor is taking the right steps.

Simon Drew
Simon Drew
The Otago Daily Times reported last week a Fulton Hogan staff member had crashed a roller off the Portobello Rd work site and into Otago Harbour - the third non-injury accident on site this year.

That prompted Fulton Hogan to shut down the site for two days - yesterday and again today - after a visit from the company's senior managers and health and safety staff on Monday identified more safety violations.

Dunedin City Council infrastructure services general manager Simon Drew had been briefed about one incident - involving a worker not wearing correct safety equipment - on Monday.

However, a Fulton Hogan worker told the ODT he was aware of other more serious incidents, including contractors working under an excavator's bucket when it was full of boulders.

An Otago Peninsula resident also contacted the ODT yesterday to say she had seen an excavator dumping rocks very close to a contractor while they worked on a new section of seawall.

''I nearly stopped and told him off, as it was ridiculously dangerous, but was in a line of moving traffic.''

Mr Drew, contacted yesterday, said he had received an update from Fulton Hogan staff yesterday, and confirmed three incidents ''of concern'' had now been identified from Monday's site visit.

The company had planned to submit details of the more serious incidents in written form, and was not ''trying to hide anything'', he said.

The incidents included one similar to what had been described by the worker and resident, and another involving a truck, but Mr Drew did not want to discuss details before he had received written reports.

''They are of concern. They speak to behaviours that you wouldn't expect to see on a construction site,'' he said.

Despite that, Mr Drew said the company had the right health and safety protocols in place and was taking all the right steps now to address ''culture and behaviour'' problems.

''There's lots of things they're doing right.''

Fulton Hogan planned to hold a workshop tomorrow, to be attended by about 50 staff and subcontractors working on the Peninsula Connection project, before resuming work at the site tomorrow, he said.

''I've been impressed, at senior management level, how seriously Fulton Hogan are taking these issues.''

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

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