More Alcoa workers exposed to asbestos in WA, says union

White asbestos has been found at Alcoa's Pinjarra refinery in Western Australia and workers at the facility may have been exposed to it, according to the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU).

As AAP reports, the union claims independent testing has identified the presence of asbestos in the press building at the facility.

As reported by the ABC, earlier this month the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) claimed that seven maintenance workers were exposed to asbestos at a separate Alcoa site in WA – the Kwinana refinery, south of Perth.

At the time, tests confirmed the presence of the substance and, as a result, the three unions representing the workers (the CFMEU, the AMWU and the Electrical Trades Union) called for audit of Alcoa's operations in Western Australia.

However, the company said the potential was low level and posed little risk to the health of the workers. It said it was concerned about the speculation about the level of the problem at the site.

Following the latest incident, the AMWU claimed the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum had rejected the audit request.