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#SolarSafe the focus as solar industry booms

Victoria’s residential solar boom is being monitored carefully this summer, with Solar Victoria, Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) and WorkSafe Victoria working together to ensure the solar industry maintains the highest standards of safety and quality while meeting increased demand from households.

18/12/20 6.15am
Keeping #SolarSafe with regular audits and inspections this festive season.

As November broke records for the most monthly installations in the history of the Solar Homes Program, Solar Victoria CEO Stan Krpan said it was vital that all workers and customers across Victoria remain safe, and all systems are installed to the highest standards. 

The three agencies are now increasing site inspections and audits to ensure installs are being conducted safely and in accordance with all industry and safety regulations, with the pressure to finish jobs in the lead up to Christmas making it a particularly hazardous time for workers.  

ESV has commenced site audits seven days a week in order to identify poor installations and unlicensed workers. Of its 470 site visits during 2020, five instances of unlicensed work have been identified. Appropriate enforcement action has been taken. 

WorkSafe inspectors have visited more than 850 solar installation sites in 2020, issuing more than 160 improvement notices and 20 prohibition notices during those inspections. WorkSafe will continue to drive employers and contractors to make safety their first priority. 

As part of its strategy to improve compliance and help installers meet its stringent requirements, Solar Victoria has increased transparency of its audits by publishing the  checklist auditors use to assess solar PV installations. 

Installers can also follow 10 simple safety rectification tips on Solar Victoria’s website to avoid common errors and ensure solar systems meet the high standards required under the Solar Homes Program.   

For more information on the types of audits and inspections conducted by each agency, visit: 
Solar Victoria – www.solar.vic.gov.au
Energy Safe Victoria –  www.esv.vic.gov.au
WorkSafe Victoria –  www.worksafe.vic.gov.au

Quote attributable to Solar Victoria CEO, Stan Krpan: 

“Solar Victoria has rigorous safety and quality standards, and we are unapologetic for this. It is critical that all retailers and installers take their responsibilities seriously.”  

Quote attributable to ESV Director of Energy Safety, Marnie Williams:

“While safety at the installation stage is vital, solar PV systems must be maintained and should be serviced by a licensed electrician at least once every two years.”  

Quote attributable to WorkSafe Health and Safety Executive Director Julie Nielsen:  

“Failure to put safety first when installing solar can have deadly consequences. WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute any duty holder who does not control the well-known risks of working with electricity and at height.” 

Reviewed 18 December 2020