A GLADSTONE worker is suing his former employer for over $3.1 million, alleging sustained bullying and harassment at a Curtis Island work site.

The man was employed as a labourer from April 2013 at Bechtel Construction's Curtis Island site when it is alleged he was subjected to harassment by several members of his work crew, including supervisors.

Documents lodged in the Supreme Court at Rockhampton state the man was bullied from November 2013, with colleagues using intimidating gestures, forcibly placing a shovel in his hand, kicking his chair and flicking saliva laced paper at his head, writing sexually explicit messages on Facebook, and calling him several names (further allegations are listed below).

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Australia Pacific LNG Commemorative Event, March 3, 2016. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer
BID CASE: A former workers is pursuing Bechtel for $3.1 million. Mike Richards GLA030316APLNG

In 2014, a colleague challenged the man to a physical fight, which was later carried out.

In another incident, a phrase referring to the man as "a snitch" was written in 2m square letters in wet cement in a colleague's work area.

When the man reported the bullying and harassment to his supervisor, the crew was told the name calling was to stop.

But the man later went to collect his bag and found "a penis and ball sack had been drawn on it".

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In February 2014, the man told his supervisor he was struggling to work with those involved and on March 1 sent a text message saying the bullying had "messed him up", causing him to see a psychologist.

When the man returned from sick leave, he was told those who had allegedly been harassing him had told the rest of the crew not to work with him.

The man filed a letter of complaint with a fill-in supervisor, who passed it onto the employee relations representative.

The court documents allege Bechtel did not commence any investigation into the complaint.


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An aerial view of the three LNG projects on Curtis Island all with ships at their jetties. Santos GLNG in the foreground, Queensland Curtis LNG in the middle and Australia Pacific LNG in the background. The first of two GLNG production trains was handed over to the customer, Santos, in October 2015. The GLNG project is one of three plants built by Bechtel on Curtis Island, near Gladstone in Queensland, Australia. The projects, QCLNG, GLNG and Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) will have a capacity to produce 25 million tonnes of LNG per annum when complete in 2016.
BULLYING CLAIMS: The workers claims he is "messed up" after constant bullying. Ashley Roach - Fullframe Photogr

The man was allegedly told by supervisors to ignore those involved, but was then told to work with them.

When he protested this team arrangement, he was allegedly told "you will do as you are told ****".

In April 2014, a worker allegedly overheard a threat by someone to "knife" the man.

When this was reported to management, Bechtel started an investigation into the threat and earlier complaints of bullying and harassment.

The documents allege the man, and another who reported the overheard threat, were called "dogs" and "grubs" by colleagues following the investigation.

Bechtel general manager of LNG Alasdair Cathcart says the construction workers who built the Curtis LNG plants should be proud of the end product.
BIG CASE: A worker claims he was subjected to constant bullying on Bechtel's construction site. Craig Chapman

As a result of the incidents, the man claims he sustained a psychiatric injury which required medical treatment and "intensive psychiatric treatment".

The documents state he was diagnosed with and needed treatment for a Major Depressive Disorder and Generalised Anxiety Disorder.

"Despite having received intensive psychiatric treatment the Plaintiff continues to suffer from significant psychiatric injury," the claim states.

The man's treatment is ongoing.

The man is suing Bechtel for damages totalling $3,163,301.30, including past economic loss totalling $354,529.98.

Included is also a sum of $2,289,783.87 for future economic loss, with the documents stating the man's injuries "will forever preclude his return to work in the construction or mining industry or in any other form of employment".

Both Bechtel and the lawyers acting on behalf of the man declined to comment further while the matter was before the courts.