Installers of rooftop solar panels can expect an unannounced visit from SafeWork NSW inspectors as the regulator targets potentially growing risks across the industry which is going through a boom period.
Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson said State and Federal Government rebates were stimulating an increase in solar panel rooftop installations and SafeWork would ensure the industry put safety first.
“Last year we saw around 90,000 installations across the State and no doubt there will be even more this year, as many of us look at new ways to reduce costs of living,” Mr Anderson said.
“Installing solar systems exposes workers to risks of serious injury, including through falls from ladders, roofs and skylights, as well as electrical risks,” he said.
“While our focus is on proactively raising awareness of safe practices, we will be taking a zero-tolerance approach to those who put workers’ lives at risk by not using the right safety gear or conducting work without a licence.”
Mr Anderson said SafeWork NSW had developed a new workplace safety guide for the industry in consultation with the Clean Energy Council, the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and other key representatives.
The Minister said the safety guide provided the solar industry with clear directions on controlling risk, including a safety checklist; instructions on developing a site-specific safe work method statement; and minimum fall protection measures.
“One thing that we’ve got to stress is that no solar installer should be working on a roof without fall protection in place,” he said.
“If you see this happening, please contact SafeWork NSW immediately via the hotline, or the Speak Up app.”
Mr Anderson said SafeWork NSW would also hold safety information events online for solar installers and workers.