Thursday 28 March 2019

A successful Solar Homes program will be a safe one

 

Solar Victoria is supporting WorkSafe Victoria to visit solar installation sites across the state.

Inspections are already underway, with 33 on-site inspections leading to 11 improvement notices, five directions to cease work, a prohibition notice, and 2 non-compliance issues addressed at the time of the visit. 

The inspection effort has led to a spike in calls to the health and safety regulator’s advisory service (1800 136 089).

However, these are not new obligations. They’ve been in place for many years. 

A Compliance Code (the Code) developed under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 provides practical guidance on how to comply with those duties and obligations.

It is aimed at employers, self-employed people, principal contractors or those who have management or control of a workplace. It is also relevant for employees and health and safety representatives.

The Code covers the need for Safe Work Methods Statements (SWMS) which assess the risks of each job. It also sets how identified risks should be managed using the hierarchy of controls.

One of the main targets of the campaign is the use of appropriate fall protection where there is a risk of a fall of more than two metres.
Solar installers must take all reasonably practicable* steps to protect workers who are performing tasks at height. In general, this includes the use of fall prevention devices such as scaffolds and guardrails.  

Solar installers must take all reasonably practicable* steps to protect workers who are performing tasks at height. In general, this includes the use of fall prevention devices such as scaffolds and guardrails.

If you’re an installer, you need to read WorkSafe’s guidance on Working safely when installing photovoltaic (PV) systems so you can protect yourself, your workers and business.

*You can also read more about how WorkSafe defines ‘reasonably practicable’ in their Guidelines: How WorkSafe applies the law in relation to Reasonably Practicable.

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