Legal action over toxic mould in workplace Australian first

Legal action over toxic mould in workplace Australian first

A Townsville worker is taking action against her former employer for allegedly exposing her to toxic mould in what is believed to be an Australian first.

Regina Senger, 31, was employed as a project manager at a real estate office and alerted her employer to the sub-standard working conditions almost a year before the company moved out of the premises.

In late 2007, Ms Senger began working in the basement office of the agency and noticed that the space was permeated by a mouldy odour, allegedly so intense that colleagues avoided visiting Ms Senger.

“Mould was growing all over the carpet,” Ms Senger explained. “My requests to move office, and concerns about the health of employees, were ignored for months on end.”

By February, when a Workplace Health and Safety Officer visited the space, Ms Senger says she was experiencing serious health effects, allegedly from breathing airborne mould caused by water getting inside the building over a lengthy period.

The inspection found serious water penetration problems and fungal growth in the basement carpet.

Lawyer Rebecca Jancauskas, of Shine Lawyers, said: “The employer and building owner were on notice that they should be evacuating the building’s occupants due to the health risk, but failed to do so until just recently.”

Mrs Senger said she quit her job after 18 months.

“Being forced to work under those conditions has had a serious impact on my health and life,” she said.

The lawyers have lodged a Workcover claim against the real estate company, and have served the building owners with notice of a personal injury damages claim.

There are 4 comments
  1. Dr Heike Neimeister-Kemp

    This is definitely not the first worked comp claim for mould.
    I attended at least 3 of them myself as an subject matter expert
    Dr H Neumeister-Kemp

  2. Tom

    A family member (teacher) had to have half her lung removed because of mould as a direct result of employment. Suffered humiliation by the WCov specialist, and Lawyers without balls

  3. Denny Bolatti

    Hi Dr. Thanks for your comment. We will look into these cases that you have mentioned. p.s great work on the mould bible!

  4. Denny Bolatti

    Tom that is terrible. State based WHS Legislation provides legal obligations on the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) to identify hazards and manage risks to workers health and safety (eliminate the risk if reasonable practicable). Exposure to mould is most definitely a risk in the workplace if not controlled. We wish the teacher all best in her recovery journey!

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