Exclusive: union says cleaners should not have to work in area where falcons have nested for at least 20 years
An aircraft worker has been gouged in the eye by a falcon that lives in a Qantas Sydney airport hangar, creating what the union has called an “unsafe work environment”.
Multiple peregrine falcons – including at least one small family – live, nest and hunt in the hangar.
Falcons have been there for at least 20 years and have turned it into a “known roosting site”.
But on Tuesday last week, one of the falcons attacked a worker, causing significant damage to his eyes, neck and face. The worker “may lose sight in one eye”, the Transport Workers Union said.
The birds cannot be easily removed because they are a protected species, and Qantas has allowed them to stay because they keep mice, rats and pigeons away.
Guardian Australia has obtained an internal safety warning issued by Qantas that confirmed the attack and told staff to wear safety goggles until the end of breeding season in November.