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Electrical Safety Office director awarded by Standards Australia


29 May 2023

Electrical Safety Office director awarded national W.R Hebblewhite Medal.

Brian Richardson acknowledged for his contribution and foresight to safety.

Each year, Standards Australia* honours the tremendous positive impacts that people and groups make towards improving Australian standardisation.

One of the awards is the prestigious W.R Hebblewhite Medal, which highlights the outstanding contribution of an individual for foresight in their field. The winner is chosen based on their demonstrated leadership, technical advice, and the positive effects their work has made on the industry and community.

The 2023 W.R Hebblewhite Medal recipient is from the Electrical Safety Office - Director of Equipment Safety and Licensing, Brian Richardson.

Mr Richardson has been employed by the Electrical Safety Office (ESO) since 2002 and has played a leading role in assessing hundreds of electrical safety incidents across the state. His knowledge in product safety has positioned him as an industry expert in driving conversations with affiliated safety agents to create new standards to improve the lives of countless Queenslanders.

His career has seen him represent the community’s needs on a number of committees and his experience has contributed to the drafting of standards for DC isolators and other solar PV renewable equipment and installations – which has seen a reduction in the number of reported fires involving solar equipment.

If you would like to make a difference to our great state, the Electrical Safety Office encourages other electrical safety experts to follow the Facebook page and monitor Smart Jobs for opportunities to join the team.

Quotes attributable to Head of Electrical Safety Office, Donna Heelan:

“I am filled with a great sense of confidence and certainty to see external peak bodies acknowledging the internal contribution of the individuals in our ESO business who contribute to our stronger and more productive community.

“Without an effective working state, Queensland stagnates. It’s easy to say we attract and retain the best in field, but this award recognises that we really do have some of the brightest and most dedicated talent in the country.

“Thanks to Standards Australia for this wonderful acknowledgement of our expert Brian Richardson, and thanks to you Brian, for your tremendous contribution to the state of Queensland – your accolade is most deserved.”

Quotes attributable to Director of Equipment Safety and Licensing, Brian Richardson:

“In the future, power grids may very well operate as a backup system as micro communities leverage their ability to generate and transfer energy from their household renewable systems to power not only their own homes but others in the street as well.

“As the country looks towards solar and renewables, potential hydrogen solutions and battery storage to offset the technology needs of the everyday household, we will need strong safety standards to fully realise these opportunities, while maintaining a safe environment for Queenslanders.

“The work of ESO delivers these types of opportunities and gives us a glimpse of what’s possible; rather than offering our neighbours a cup of sugar, we may well be offering each other kilowatts of power from the house battery; after a storm when the main grid is offline for repairs, you could help to maintain your neighbour’s power.

“Opportunity and safety go hand in hand. Standards improvements are a never-ending commitment to be safer every day, and to achieve an even safer tomorrow.

“Use of new technology and improved design from enhanced requirements in standards can continue to remove electric shock and fire risk.

“I’m proud to receive this award, and a big thank you to the team at ESO for their support, and to Standards Australia for its continued leadership in positioning the importance of Australian standardisation.”

Further information

*Standards Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that specialises in the development and adoption of internationally aligned standards in Australia.