China-made uniforms causing blisters, say Australian workers (Lead)September 8th, 2008 - 7:33 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, Sep 8 (IANS) An Australian trade union has alleged that an energy company’s workers have suffered blisters and rashes from wearing uniforms made in China, and has called for the recall of all such uniforms, according to media reports.As many as 143 Ergon Energy workers have reported incidence of blistering and rashes covering their groins, arms and nipples and some have claimed that ironing the uniform releases yellow, bubbling substance that causes nausea and vomiting, reports The Courier Mail newspaper.
The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) is demanding a recall of all the 3,000 Chinese made protective uniforms following severe allergic reactions suffered not only by the workers, but reportedly also by family members who came in contact with the uniforms.
“We only got wind of the problems in August but it looks like a lot of the men were suffering the symptoms in silence. It is a serious issue. A doctor has advised an Ergon employee that the effects of the chemicals could be cumulative,” ETU assistant secretary Peter Simpson told the newspaper.
The uniforms have been sent for testing at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
“The health and safety of our staff has always been our priority. There will be none in the field from close of business today,” Ergon Energy said in a statement.
“Initial test results were inconclusive but tests are continuing. The technology used to make the uniforms flame-retardant is not new or radical. We have used it in good faith that there haven’t previously been problems with it,” an Ergon spokesman told the newspaper.
In the past year, millions of ‘Made in China’ toys, cell phones and food products have been recalled.