Newcastle Wharfies Down Tools Over Safety

Waterside workers in Newcastle this morning refuse to work ship with unmarked pre-slung loads.

Newcastle wharfies this morning refused to lift the loads off the Glebe Arrow vessel pre-slung with Chinese wire ropes.

Glen Williams, MUA organiser reports the ropes were not marked and therefore unable to be referenced against any of the certificates.

"So members refused to use them," he said. "They were told that other ports have been using them, but agreed to use Australian Standard lifting slings instead.

"Mal Lingard from Newcastle Stevedores was in this morning and gave me copies of the  lifting certificates from a vessel," said Glen.  "Mal is concerned that other ports are using these wire ropes and that it could potentially be an accident waiting to happen."
Glen spoke to AMSA and they say that provided the slings are marked and can be referenced to the certificates and if slings have been inspected then they can be used.

Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith immediately warned other branches that any slings that can't be matched to certification must not be utilised. 

"If in doubt the Branch should be contacted and an inspector called out to determine the safety of any certification especially in relation to slings that have no apparent markings on them," he said. "Act safely in the first instance."