Build­ing dust-up

Auckland City Harbour News - - Front Page - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

FALL­ING de­bris from a Pitt St build­ing site has left work­ers in the offices be­low won­der­ing how long their luck will last.

Over the last two months, fall­ing construction ma­te­ri­als have nar­rowly missed staff from neigh­bour­ing offi

A fall­ing rock smashed into the back wind­screen of a parked car while a worker was get­ting some­thing out of the car boot.

A sec­ond in­ci­dent saw a steel rod crash through the build­ing’s roof, com­ing through the ceil­ing and nar­rowly miss­ing a worker at her desk.

The woman did not want to com­ment on the in­ci­dent.

The offices of Body Pos­i­tive and Pos­i­tive Women on Poyn­ton St sit be­hind the Chatham apart­ments, be­ing built on up­per Pitt St by Hawkins Construction com­pany.

Body Pos­i­tive worker Ron Irvine says they have been very lucky.

Mr Irvine says when the steel rod fell they alerted construction work­ers who came and re­moved it quickly and patched the hole in the roof with wire net­ting.

“I think they re­alised it could have been quite se­ri­ous.”

Last week Mr Irvine says more de­bris was heard fall­ing on to the roof al­though he was un­sure what the ob­ject was.

Dust and sparks fall­ing from above have also meant work­ers cars need to be con­stantly cleaned through­out the day.

Mr Irvine says Hawkins has em­ployed a mo­bile car valet ser­vice to be on site al­most per­ma­nently and clean cars as they get cov­ered in con­crete dust.

Mr Irvine says his car has also been cov­ered with sparks from weld­ing go­ing on above the carpark and some cars have had tyres punc­tured by nails on the ground.

He says al­though the valet ser­vice cleans the cars, the dam­age from elec­tri­cal sparks is still vis­i­ble.

“It should re­ally be sanded back and re-painted,” he says.

Worker Craig Web­ster says sim­ply clean­ing the cars over and over again is not go­ing to fix the prob­lem.

“You can have your car cleaned and within an hour it’s back to the same.”

Hawkins safety man­ager An­drew Con­fait says while the com­pany re­alises there is a level of in­con­ve­nience for neigh­bours, they have in­ves­ti­gated fully any is­sues to date and put mea­sures in place to mit­i­gate them.

He did not spec­ify what the safety mea­sures were.

Mr Con­fait says Hawkins will con­tinue talk­ing with neigh­bours to proac­tively solve their con­cerns.

Construction on the Chatham apart­ments, which in­clude three base­ment carpark­ing lev­els and eight up­per storeys of 51 apart­ments, be­gan in 2007 and is due to be com­pleted early next year.

A spokesper­son from the coun­cil’s in­ci­dent man­age­ment depart­ment says no com­plaints have been re­ceived about the fall­ing ob­jects.

But the coun­cil has re­sponded to com­plaints of dirty wa­ter from up­per lev­els fall­ing on to the foot­path and car­riage­way.

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