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- Good morning and welcome to our electrical contractor safety webinar. Thank you very much for joining us this morning. My name's Donna Heelan and I'm the executive director of the Electrical Safety Office for the Office of Industrial Relations in Queensland. I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which this event is taking place and pay my respects to Elders past, present, and emerging. I would also like to extend this acknowledgement to the traditional owners of where all our online guests are today. Throughout today's session, there'll be an opportunity for you to ask any of our great speakers a question. Type them into the Q&A box on the right of your screen and we'll get to them during your panel session. Before we kick off, it'd be great if you could just pop in the chat where you're actually from today, where you are. We've had great events already this week with staff and people attending these sessions at Mount Isa, Weipa, and Cairns, Townsville, and across the Southeast Queensland corner. If you have any technical problems during this livestream, please make sure the sound on your computer is turned on, refresh your browser, and if that doesn't work, contact us via the Q&A chat box, which is down on your left-hand side. You can also change the size of your screen to full screen by selecting the four small arrows next to the volume bar at the bottom of your screen. Again, down the bottom. Today is R U OK? Day, which is all about inspiring and empowering people to meaningfully connect to those in their world and lend support when they are struggling with life. If you or someone you know is struggling, we have information on where to get help and support. It's really important, particularly in today's climate in which we live, in the COVID pandemic we've all experienced over the past couple of years, that you do reach out, seek assistance and support from your peers, your family, and your friend. I'd like to acknowledge: Tim Curtis, the director and author of "The Resilience Shield;" Jane Errey, director and senior electrical engineer of SPA Consulting Pty Ltd; Michael Gibson, director of field services, Electrical Safety Office. I'd like to start while I've got the forum to give you a quick update about what's happening in the Electrical Safety Office. As I mentioned earlier, it's been an amazing week so far. It's the biggest week on our electrical safety calendar. We had our Safety Heroes launch on Monday, which was at Springwood, with about 200 primary students in attendance. On Tuesday, we had a sold out Electricity Safety Summit with about 220 people joining us online and in the room at Victoria Park Golf Course. And yesterday, we had our Apprentice Safety Forum, our biggest event yet this week, where we had 500 apprentices join us from all around Queensland, including Acacia Ridge, Mount Isa, Cairns, Weipa, and Townsville. And for the first time this year, Electrical Safety Week is including people across the Australian states and territories through our members of our ERAC committee. So I've said multiple times this week, the industry you work in, you play an absolutely critical role in ensuring the professionalism, competency, and wellbeing and safety of Queensland's electrical industry. We have about 60,000 electrical workers and about 12,000 electrical contractors on any given day in Queensland, and tragically, as we know, you can't see or hear electricity more often than not, you can't smell it, you can't taste it, but you can touch it. Tragically, during the past financial year, we've had 25 serious electrical incidents. That's not a tap or a shock or a tingle. That is a serious electrical incident resulting in life-threatening and ongoing injuries. And we've had four fatalities. With only one of these fatalities being a licensed electrical worker, the others were members of the public, which says to me we're getting complacent around electricity and we either don't know what we don't know or we think we know more than we do. In August 2020, the Queensland Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations, and Minister for Racing, the Honorable Grace Grace, announced an independent review of the Electricity Safety Act. For any of you in this industry, you know that that piece of legislation is 20 years old and was due for a refresh. The purpose of this review is to consider what legislative changes could be needed to ensure that Queensland's electrical safety laws are fit for purpose specifically in relation to new and emerging technologies and to recommend those changes to government for government consideration. The report and recommendations will be released in the coming months and we'll keep you updated as things progress. On this note, you all know emerging technologies are coming at it quicker than we know, and they have led to significant changes to the electrical generation, storage, and supply. In Queensland, the projection is that we're gonna move from a 5% renewable energy source for electricity in 2020 to a 70% renewable electricity sources in 2050. With renewables, hydrogen, and battery energy storage system, this is a really exciting time for all of us, but we know that change brings challenge. I'm really proud to lead the Electrical Safety Office, and whilst emerging and renewable technologies are really high on our agenda, we have a number of key priorities that we're working on, including unlicensed electrical work, contact with overhead lines, working around energized parts and the risk of arc flash, which Michael and Jane will talk to you about today, the compliance with installation safety standards, and the sale of safe equipment for all Queenslanders and beyond. We are continuing to investigate online platforms which are being used for unlicensed electrical work. These platforms make our lives easy. You can jump online, you can click a button and ask someone to come and put in ceiling fans or check your safety switch. But please, make sure and tell your clients to check that the person doing the work is licensed. Sadly, this technology has given a real platform for people to tout for work when they aren't appropriately licensed or competent. We're working with those providers, such as hipages, Gumtree, Oneflare, et cetera, to have those advertisements removed before those people get to perform any work. But in addition, we're issuing mandatory on-the-spot fines and court proceedings for recalcitrant unlicensed operators and so far in the last 24 months have issued over $200,000 in fines. We're also ensuring compliance with industry with the first-ever immediate suspension of an electrical license holder in Queensland, and the first ever in Australia to my knowledge, and we have a current prosecution before the court sadly for a fatality where the company have been charged with industrial manslaughter. We are integral in the recall of electrical equipment. And for those of you around the room, I know I'm speaking to the converted, but we have five recalls in the past year. And one that I really need to bring your attention to is the LG Solar Energy storage battery recall. If you aren't across it, please jump on our website or just Google LG battery recall. It will jump up and tell you the make and models that are affected and what your clients or customers need to do. We've been focusing on the emerging issue of working around energized parts and the risk of arc flash. I'm not gonna take away Michael or Jane's topic today, but if you are one of the 137,000 people that have viewed our recent arc flash film, well done. If not, please have a look at it. Share it with your networks, share it with your apprentices, so that you can all understand why arc flash injuries are so dangerous. And sadly, Queensland likes to lead the way in electrical safety, but we're leading the way across all the country with the number of arc flash incidents and we're not sure why. In relation to things that are affecting you and your licenses, we're building a new portal so electrical workers and contractors and apprentices can apply for and manage their licenses online. This means no more paper. You can pay online, you can log in, you can change your details, you can update your QTP or QBP information at a time and a place that's convenient to you. Something that's gonna be, we hope, a lot more user friendly. We're also gonna move to photographic licenses, which is a first for Queensland, to help protect everyone in the industry and increase community confidence that the person that comes to their door or their workplace is the license holder that they say they are. The Form 10 for apprentices making license applications will be replaced again with an online form. So apprentices will apply for a license and pay their fee just like any of our workers or contractors. We expect this portal to become available in the second half of next year. In the meantime, please check to make sure that we have your contact details that are correct and up to date so we can keep you in the loop about what's happening. Another big project with the team is our skills maintenance platform. We're upgrading it to enhance our user verification, tailoring content with a license category, and using contemporary information as part of the testing process. We're also looking at ways that we can promote greater visibility of our female tradies to encourage more women in the electrical industry. We currently only have 6% in Queensland of our apprentices in the electrical mechanic field being female. And we're expanding our reach and visibility across community, focusing in more regional and remote areas. We've had 133,000 visits to our electrical safety community webpage with a big shout-out to our awareness and engagement team that developed that webpage, and it's only been operating for just less than two years, which indicates that there's a real desire for community and people in their workplaces and homes to understand electrical safety and what they can do to play their part. We've had almost 500,000 people watch our Don't DIY campaign. Again, I'm talking to people that know. Electricity is dangerous, and if you don't know what you're doing, it can be deadly. We've been working outside the Southeast Queensland corner. I'm passionate about getting out. We've been to Mareeba, Atherton, Mount Isa, Ingham, Lucinda, Cairns, Townsville, Cloncurry, and Weipa and we're heading back up to Mareeba again in November this year. What can you do? There's lots. If you can review your advertising and making sure you as electrical contractors are compliant with the legislation. Remember, your QTP needs to be an employee, a director, or a partner of your business. And if you have electrical apprentices, I urge you to get them to join our eSAFE apprentice edition, which is only a new publication that's tailored to them. Someone said yesterday we won't spam their inbox. We'll just give information that's key, contemporary, and relevant to them. And if you are a member of industry and aren't a subscriber to our industry eSAFE, please jump on and sign up today. And finally, family and friends, if they can join us on our Facebook page, things such as the LG storage recall and other components that are really important in Queensland will always be on our Facebook page. I did say finally, but there's always one more thing. The regulatory compliance mark. Please talk to your family, your clients, and your friends about the RCM. It's a triangle with a little tick in the middle that indicates that the importer has declared that their electrical equipment meets our stringent Queensland electrical safety laws and therefore is safe to use. Finally, continue sharing the message that one safety switch is not enough. Safety switches on all circuits, on your power, on your lights, on your heater, on your air conditioner, on your hot water system, saves lives. Again, that's enough for me. Please put your questions in the chat box down below. And I'd now like to welcome Michael Gibson, who many of you know as Gibbo, who will talk about arc flash hazard management. Michael has been in the electrical industry for more than 35 years with more than 20 years at the Electrical Safety Office. His role is to lead the delivery of inspection and enforcement strategies across the state to enforce and monitor compliance of duty holders with electrical safety legislation. I'm sure you'll join me to welcome Michael Gibson.
- Thanks, Donna, and good morning, everybody. I'd like to take this opportunity to do two things: have a quick update on where the electrical safety is at with our arc flash strategies and some information about what we've done in regard to our arc flash research project and how we're gonna implement some of those recommendations. So I'll get started. So a little bit of background. Like everybody knows, obviously arc flash is the greatest risk because of working on or near those energized parts. That's not new to everybody, and I think I spoke about it last year. So we all in our industry, particularly the electrical industry, are starting to get an awareness of the significant risk of arc flash when working on or near hazardous parts, and those are obviously the shock and now burns from the arc flash. So that's the background to why we are at this area, and what we want to do is achieve greater awareness and start reducing those numbers. We can't avoid working on or near energized parts. Our industry involves testing. It involves fault finding. It involves a lot of operational work where there are exposure to live parts. So it's not a simple message about, you know, turn the power off and don't work live. We can't say that. Our industry has to work in that area. So we want to put strategies in place where we can be doing that safely. Once again, we are still getting incidents of arc flash injuries. And one of the significant factors of those injuries is the amount of, is the failure to follow work practices. We continually see people making decisions not to follow a set process or going outside those established procedures. And we feel like workers are making a choice to put themselves at risk, and that's one of the areas we really want to focus on is that decision-making factor. One of the key areas, like I spoke about, is one of our priorities is looking at those causal factors. We know the back end. We know that there's injuries occurring. But we wanna put more focus on what's happening at the front to start reducing these incidents and issues. So the ESO commissioned an arc flash human factor study. Now, that was a partnership between Griffith University and James Cook University. Now, what they did as part of that study was they went out to industry, they had key stakeholder meetings right across our industry of industry leaders, unions, major players in our industry, and they also looked at some really big focus groups to start really what works well, what's not working well, and some of the best practice on how some of these businesses are managing these risks. And last of all, they looked at the last 15 or 16 incidents. So they had a really good study of those investigation reports to see what we're finding from a compliance perspective. So based on all that information, they produced a research paper and that's what we're now trying to disseminate and get out to industry. Obviously the three key themes weren't a surprise, but it's good to see it as three key areas. So arc flash work practices is one area, the psychological process around that behavior, and arc flash risk management strategies. So the work practices is how we are interacting or how we are working on or near energized parts. What training, what process do we have to do that work. Now, obviously that's testing and fault finding, that type of thing. So work practices at the front end is really critical. The psychological process is what I spoke about, that decision-making by the workers doing this work. What's in their mind? What are they thinking about? Why are they choosing to take shortcuts? And what's the focus of those issues to really get a crux of an understanding of where we're going wrong. And obviously the last one is how do we better, put a better focus on risk management, get some real quality risk management practices going on out there so workers will follow it and we'll get some safety outcomes? Some of the recommendations, they put six recommendations together just to manage those three core issues. Obviously our arc flash awareness campaign is one of the critical areas and that's why we do these types of webinars. We've got some really, really good movies that Donna spoke about on our website about people who have been impacted by an arc flash incident. So we highly recommend that you get on our website and really get those messages out there. It's a critical aspect 'cause we can't do this just from an enforcement perspective. It's too big an issue for that. So front-end engagement and education is critical. We're gonna look at the licensing system, how we're testing and doing our arc flash, you know, doing our skills maintenance to get arc flash issues into that process, and obviously we need to look at how apprentices are being trained right at the front end so they appreciate not just shock in our industry, but it's also the risk of arc flash and those burns that come with that risk. So we really want to get to the curricular that they're training these apprentices in. The other three areas around obviously our legislation. Like Donna spoke about, there is a review of our act and regulations. That review will focus on where we can change those particular requirements around working on energized parts and what we may need to pick up. So I think that's a critical area that we can make that front end, the legislation, just become a little bit more contemporary and pick that up. We're gonna look at our enforcement approach. Like I said, we can't win this battle by just taking enforcement action every time this occurs. We need a broader approach. We wanna make sure that our enforcement action is taken, but it's just gotta be targeted in a better way. And the last one is obviously what we're doing now, it's about relationships and networks. So we're certainly gonna keep, continually go back to our key stakeholders and get that message out there. What we've done following the research project, we've got our recommendations and now we've established an Arc Flash Working Group. We'll have two processes in that working group. We'll have an internal process where we look at our own, you know, our strategies, but we'll also really start working and collaborating with industry again to get out there and see what best practice is in place, what legislation at the moment is doing, where we can get better at managing risk, putting those risk management processes in place. So I think there's some really core areas where this Arc Flash Working Group will get out there and start making some change. Now that we've got a research project, we'll get those recommendations into place. There we go. So if you have any more info you want, like I spoke, get onto our website, have a look at those movies that are already out there. We are going to get out there with our external customers and reengage through that workshop process. Thank you very much for your time.
- Thanks, Gibbo. Like I said earlier, Queensland are a really competitive bunch. We like to win things. You can only see the nature of competitiveness around State of Origin footy and we like to win, but we don't wanna win that race. We do not wanna keep winning year in, year out, the number of arc flash incidents across Queensland. We need to get those numbers down and we need to get them down really, really quickly. And like Michael said, enforcement is one thing we can do, but that means we've got someone that's injured, we've got someone that's burnt, someone that's badly, badly injured that may never go back to the trade or may actually lose their life. So we're looking at what we can do from start to finish across all of Queensland. Again, please add your questions in the chat box for Michael. Michael will be here at the end for the Q&A session. Add whatever question you'd like, anything you'd like to know. I'd now like to take a moment to welcome Jane Errey. Jane is gonna share some arc flash case studies, including her personal experience from the perspective of an Electrical Licensing Committee member. Jane has more than 40 years experience in the electrical industry and began her electrical apprenticeship at Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney Harbour refitting ships and submarines. Having worked as an electrician for several years, she moved to Western Australia and worked at the Argyle Diamond Mine. I hope you put a few of them in your pocket, Jane. Jane has an electrical engineering degree and has been a member of the Electrical Licensing Committee since 2011. Our Electrical Licensing Committee, as most of you would know, are the people that you go towards, it's a disciplinary committee if you've done something wrong. If one of your workers have been injured or you've done non-compliant or unsafe work, you'll meet Jane, sadly, on the other side of the table for some discipline reaction in relation to what the outcomes were from that. So welcome, Jane. I would like to introduce you to the floor.
- Thank you, Donna. Right, well, thank you, Donna. I'll just grab some notes here for myself. And welcome to this. I'm gonna talk to you about my time from the dockyard and it's a personal history from the dockyard to today and regarding arc flash. As Donna said, I've been on the licensing committee for a number of years. Joined the committee in 2011. And I'll talk more about that later, but firstly, I wanna talk about my time as an apprentice at the dockyard. So I was the first electrical apprentice that the dockyard took on. That was in 1980. I found some very old photographs of me when I was an apprentice. So I'm the girl there on the right in the picture of the three of us. The girl in the middle, Karen, was a ships joiner and the girl on the left, I can't remember her name. She lasted a few months only. Karen and I did finish our apprenticeships. I started a few days before the other two girls and I'm not really sure why, which is why I claim to be the first girl that was there. I'm not sure where they found the other apprentices from. It was all a little bit confusing. There's a photo of us anyway taken in the dock, in the dry dock. They'd given us our overalls and our bump hats. They didn't actually spend the money to give us proper hard hats in those days. Safety wasn't a priority. And that's something I have seen over the years through the safety journey, how far we've come, and we've still got a long way to go. The picture then that's on the right is me in my final year. These photographs were taken by, it was pre-smartphone days. Photographs were hard to come by. You had to turn up with a big, huge camera to take any photographs of anything. And these were sort of publicity shots that the dockyard took because they had some girls. So that one on the right was a final year photograph and it appeared in one of the Vickers brochures. But it was in this final year that this arc flash incident that I want to talk about happened. And luckily, it wasn't me, but sadly, it was others at the dockyard. So here is a photograph that I found. It says Channel 7 on it. So I have to give Channel 7 the credit for that. They obviously had a photograph sitting around from that time. I believe that was taken in 1969. Although, it looked very similar when I was there in 1980 to 1983. The incident occurred somewhere where you can see that arrow going in in one of the substations. About that area there that's shown also were the electrical workshops and also the nurse's station, which was where I was working when we heard the chopper coming in. So I was working as part, I was doing a rotation with the maintenance team. The maintenance team was somewhere where everyone wanted to work as an apprentice because we seemed to be doing normal work. We worked with fans and lights and we didn't work on all this big industrial stuff that didn't seem relevant to us apprentices back then. But since in my career, I've found it's been, was a really wonderful experience. So what happened was I was working with a tradesman called Don. Don was about one year out of his trade, young bloke, and we were putting in a fan in the nurse's station and we heard the chopper overhead. Now, the helicopter only ever came to the dockyard if someone had had an accident. So it meant there'd been a terrible accident. We didn't know what it was. But we later caught up with Phil, another one of the electrical apprentices, there was 20 of us, and he gave us the story. So what had happened was Phil had been working with two tradesmen and a foreman, and they'd been going around the island checking the 415, there'd been a power quality issue and checking the voltage in these various substations. I found a photograph of a similar kind of substation on the island. They were masonry buildings. What Phil had told, what Phil told us was he'd gone there with the foreman and the two tradesmen into this particular substation. They were just using a standard multimeter to check this 415 at the other substations. They went into this one and the foreman said, "Don't do anything until I come back," and took Phil away with him and off they walked back towards the maintenance workshop. They then heard a massive explosion and so they went back to that substation where upon they found, and this is how Phil described it to me, a situation similar to this, like one of these Aboriginal shadow pictures that you can see there in the slide, only it was the blackened wall of the masonry substation and the silhouette was of two men and, of course, they were very badly burned and the helicopter was coming to pick those guys up to take them away to hospital. I went to the hospital the next day to see those fellows and I couldn't recognize them, and they told me their story. And their story was that they'd been going around checking the 415. So basically what happened with the power at the dockyard was it came in through a submarine cable onto the island, went into the old power station, which I believe is still there if you go to Sydney to Cockatoo dockyard, you can see that old power station. When I was there as a first-year apprentice, there were still mercury-arc rectifiers that some of you may have learned about in your trade as the old way of making DC from AC. And there was DC around the island for motor control because in those days, we didn't have the variable speed drives that we have today. And so a lot of the crane motors and other motors were DC. Also around the island were these dotted substations where the AC was to supply all the various workshops, et cetera. What the two tradesmen said was they had been left alone in this substation with the multimeter, just a standard multimeter, and at all the other substations, they had just put it across the busbars and they would see what the reading was, 415 or up or down from that. This particular substation was identical to all the others. There was no signage to say high voltage. As I said, safety wasn't a big priority in those days. There was no signage. The foreman didn't say anything apart from, "Don't do anything until I get back." They put this standard multimeter between these two busbars and, bang, it was 11 KV and they got these terrible burns, making them unrecognizable. So that was then. When did I say? 1983. So we're talking a lot of years ago. So you'd think, wouldn't you, that that wouldn't be a problem today, because as I said, we've come through the whole safety journey. I've been on the Electrical Licensing Committee since 2011. However, I did have a small break from being on that committee. At the end of 2015 and early 2016, I took some time off, and when I came back to the committee in 2016, I came back to find out about yet another terrible accident. This time it was an apprentice. And what this apprentice was doing was part of a team and they were cleaning the HV terminals inside this substation that you can see the photo of on the left-hand side here. The engineer in charge of that particular project had a interesting way of telling people what was live and what panels they could remove and what they shouldn't remove by putting, and you might be able to see it on there, little ticks and crosses on the panels. Now, the panel that was removed, I'm not really sure whether it had a tick or cross because it was blackened, but on the right-hand side, you can see the circuit diagram, and the incomer side was where the accident happened. It hadn't been isolated from that side. So this person was terribly burned, and they'd actually opened the panel that was on the livened side. So not a good outcome. Since then, and on the committee, I've seen quite a few of these incidents and the rest of the committee, well, find it curious, but they're used to me now. I used to look, as we were talking to these people, I'd look up in Queensland Globe or Google Earth where the nearest substation was to the incident. And my reason for that is here's a standard 11 kV distribution substation. You'll find this all through Queensland. I'm based in Cairns. I didn't say that, and I do a lot of work right through regional Queensland. This is the kind of substation you'll find, particularly in the areas at 11 kV, but the 22 kV, whilst they look a little bit different, deliver about the same fault current. So my previous discussions with the incident that happened at the dockyard and the incident that happened back in 2016 were on the high voltage side of things. But I don't want anyone thinking that arc flash is only a high-voltage issue. It is not. It's a low-voltage issue as well. In fact, low voltage can be worse than high voltage. And I don't know if you can actually read it, but down on the bottom right-hand corner, I've calculated what the fault current can be for various sized substations. I got that data out of Wilson. These are exactly the kind of transformers that are used by Energex and Ergon in regional and city Queensland. So close to 28 kA can be delivered by a thousand kVA substation. And there's a lot of them around, particularly around the cities. A 500 kVA, which is very much around everywhere else as well, 17 kA. So these are very high fault levels of current that can come through these substations. And as a result, you can be very badly burnt or your staff can be very badly burnt. I'm just gonna share with you a photograph of some people who have been badly burnt as a result of these arc flash injuries. The fellow on the left is Mark. Now, if you haven't seen Mark's story, I urge you to have a watch of that. It's on the ESO website. Mark came before us and he was still injured by the time he came to us. He still had the bandages on his arms, probably on his legs as well, because you can see his leg was very badly burned. He very generously allowed us to use his story to try and get this message through to other people. And we generally see also the contractor. So when a worker's had an accident, we generally also see the contractor because often there's been some sort of failure in the safe work method. And in this case, one of the, one of the disciplinary actions that we took out for the contractor was to allow Mark the time off to be able to spend time with the ESO to develop this story and be able to present this. So there's a picture of Mark on the phone. He's probably contacting his family. Can you imagine how this would be if it was you or one of your workers contacting his family to say, "I've had this terrible accident," and the reaction that his family, his partner, would've had in receiving that phone call? There's also photographs of more recent ones where people have hurt their hands and been burnt on their hands and that's quite gruesome. And there's back from 2017 where there was an arc flash incident in an abattoir and it hospitalized five. And I've got numerous, down the bottom in the right-hand corner is a screwdriver that's been burnt and half blown to bits. Numerous photographs as well, which I haven't shown here, of switchboards that have been blackened and are out of action. The moral to this story, and here's Mark again in hospital, is when you're going through your risk analysis, when you're working out how to approach this project that you've got to do, work out how you can isolate it upstream away from that switchboard. Let your clients know that these are the kind of injuries that can happen, and the switchboard burnt and out for months because you've damaged it through this arc flash incident, versus a few hours of a shutdown, and please consider and work into your method statements to isolate upstream. And that's it for me. Thank you.
- Thank you, Jane. I think if you, you know, photos really put things into context and I've had the absolute privilege of working with the Affected Families Committee that have lost people, children, sons, from working with electricity. I think the other thing people don't realize, you look at photos, coming into contact with an arc flash incident is up to 20,000 degrees Celsius. So that's hotter than touching the surface of the sun. And inevitably, you breathe in. So it's not just the outside of your body that's burnt. It's the inside of your body. Your eardrums get perforated. It is a really, really nasty event to be involved in. Why we're so passionate here to stop those events happening. I'd like to change pace a little bit now. We're gonna move into the very important area of asbestos. I'd like to welcome John Snooks. John is from our friends at Workplace Health and Safety Queensland that we work really closely with and he's in the asbestos unit. He'll be discussing working with asbestos in the electrical industry where asbestos-containing materials are used in the construction and manufacture and use of asbestos, until asbestos products was banned in 2003. Asbestos products can be found in internal and external building materials, including walls, soffits, and switchboards. Welcome, John. Thank you for joining us today. Thank you, Donna. Thank you for bringing me onto this. Yeah, can't see my slides. Thank you. I'd like to start off with just a couple of definitions. Asbestos-related work is basically any work that you do with asbestos that is not removal. This will include drilling holes into asbestos or cutting out squares so you can install power points. Now, the codes of practice for asbestos, they define all asbestos-containing materials either being friable or non-friable. So friable materials are ones that are either loose or they're loosely bound, and they can be crushed with hand pressure alone when disturbed and they're a much higher risk of generating airborne fibers and a higher risk of an exposure hazard. So non-friable materials are basically materials that are not friable by definition and they're usually bound in a matrix such as cement or vinyl, which are much harder to generate airborne fibers from. So why was asbestos used in building products? It's a naturally occurring mineral that was mined and was very cheap to produce, has great flexibility, very high tensile strength, has the ability to insulate from heat, it's chemically resistant, electrically inert, and as I said, it's very affordable. So when we go to a place or a workplace to conduct some work, what sort of property is gonna be likely to contain asbestos? So, as Donna said, 31st of December, 2003, asbestos was prohibited in Australia for either using it or importing it into the country. Generally, asbestos was phased out in the mid-1980s. So if you go to a property that's built before 1990, it is likely that asbestos-containing products will be used. And if it's before the mid-1980s, it's highly likely that you'll come across asbestos-containing products. So when you're looking at a wall or another area that you're about to drill in, you need to identify whether it contains asbestos or not. So some key criteria for that is the age of the building or an era where the renovation activity occurred. Manufacturing labels. You might see an asbestos sticker on the back of cement sheet. And the look in the feel of the product. So if you see, such as the bottom right-hand picture there, dimple back on a cement sheet, you know that's going to be asbestos. Protruding nails like the top two pictures. There we can see the clout head sticking out. The old cement sheets are very hard and you'll see the nails. Or if you see the cover strips between sheets, that's another good indication that the material is asbestos. Asbestos roofs are quite common in Queensland, and you can get Super Six roofs such as one on the left where they're a large corrugation, or you can get a standard corrugation as the one on the right. One of the unique hazards with working in an asbestos or in a roof space where it's an asbestos roof is it's likely that the dust inside that roof cavity contains asbestos. So you'll need to take extra precautions. So if you have to work into that area, you're going to need to wear appropriate PPE and have appropriate decontamination facilities when you come back down. If you can avoid working in a roof space with an asbestos roof, I would take that option. External wall cladding comes in many different shapes and it looks like fake weatherboards. You can either get it horizontal or vertical. You can get flat cement sheet cladding and also a faux brick cladding as well. So there's cement sheet behind the faux brick in the right-hand picture. That's what contains asbestos. Soffit linings. You can either get them as a complete sheet or they've had holds drilled in them on installation or they've got the slots in them for ventilation as well. Electrical switchboards. So on the left, we've got the Zelemite panel. Bakelite switches can also contain asbestos. On the right-hand side, we've got the cement sheet backing board and the cement lining on the switchboard door. On the left-hand side, we've got a Millboard packing that sits in behind where the switches are on a chipboard backing panel. That's a friable product. And also on the right, we've got an arc shield inside a ceramic fuse, which is also a friable rope product. On the left-hand side, if we're gonna drill through floors, we need to make sure we don't have asbestos-containing tiles. And on the walls on the left-hand side also is a Tilux product, which is an asbestos-containing cement sheet. On the right picture is an asbestos-containing vinyl where that gray backing on the vinyl is 100% asbestos and highly friable. So we need to make sure we identify that and not drill through. We can get ceiling linings such as on the left. We can see the joining panels as well. And there's another example on the right of a Tilux product in wet areas and that's covering an asbestos cement sheet lined wall behind it. So one product you might come across internal residences is a low density board. Now, low density boards are a friable product. They're a lightly compressed board that contain a high percentage of asbestos, up to about 70%, and they're bound in a calcium silicate plaster, unlike a cement sheet product, which is bound in a cement matrix. So you can see the picture on the right there, you can see the large amount of asbestos bundles in that picture, and they are much higher risk than a cement sheet if you're working with that product. Here on the left in this example of a clout head sits in flush on an LDB board, as opposed to on the right-hand side of the left-hand picture there, you can see the clout head sitting proud of the cement sheet. And on the right shows you how soft the LDB board is. You can actually push a screwdriver into that board. So LDB can be worked on by an electrician as asbestos-related work. You have to be trained in the approved methods and you have to follow one of the five methods that are on the Queensland government asbestos website to be able to work with LDB. So here's an example of an approved method for drilling into asbestos cement sheet. As you follow the pictures through, you put tape over where you're going to drill, mark your hole, put shaving cream around where you're going to drill, pre-drill a disposable cup, put shaving cream in the cup, and once you've drilled the hole, you can see in the bottom two pictures there where all the cement sheet fibers and dust is captured in the shaving cream and it's not released into the air. So the publication on the Queensland asbestos government website, Asbestos: a guide for minor renovations, if you haven't seen it before, please have a look at that and have a look at the asbestos Queensland government website. There's a lot of information on there where you'll find asbestos in the workplace. Thank you.
- Thank you, John. There's some really important takeaway messages there. And if you've got any questions on asbestos, John is absolutely an expert. So please add them into the chat below. If you are free tomorrow, we have our rental webinar and Don and Julie Sagar will come and talk to you about asbestos. Their young son Adam died from mesothelioma after coming into contact with asbestos when he was a very small child, and he only came into contact with it for a very short period of time. So it's a really, really, really important message. And please don't be that person that says, "It's not gonna happen to me," 'cause, sadly, it may well do. Again, we're moving pace. We're looking at talking about resilience and our mental health and what we can do. As you would all know, resilience and mental health, particularly with apprentices in this industry, suicide and self-harm is on the rise, and we need to really start having these important conversations. Tim is the director and author of "The Resilience Shield," an evidence-based model on resilience. He has more than 20 years of leadership and management experience, including his first career with the Special Air Service, which you may know as the SAS Regiment. Today Tim will provide tips and insights on how to manage your mental health and provide tools to decompress and bring focus attention back to you. Welcome, Tim.
- Thanks, Donna, and hello, everyone. And an appropriate topic to talk about on R U OK? Day, and I hope everyone out there is indeed okay. Well, what is resilience? It's a term that we've used and heard an incredible amount certainly in the last few years. Is it having a really big deadlift? Is it doing yoga, or having a close group of friends? Well, the answer is yes, it's all of those things. Our research on resilience shows that it's multifactorial. There are a range of things that contribute to your resilience. It's also dynamic. You can be more or less resilient today than you might be in a month's time, and, critically, it's modifiable. There are things that you can do to improve your resilience. How resilient are you? Well, asking that question is a bit like asking you, are you a good driver? 95% of people would put their hand up and say they're a good driver, or they are resilient, but there is a way that you can diagnose your own resilience to make an assessment of how resilient you are or how vulnerable you are, and that is take an evidence-based survey. After this webinar, do that. You can go to resilienceshield.com, click on Take The Survey, and that will give you your results as they correlate to our methodology. I wanna start with a story that's so far away from my first career spending time in Iraq and Afghanistan, in Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, and Sierra Leone. The picture that you see on the screen is a world away. It's also a location that has had no electricity since 1957. And this location is Heard Island. The mountain you can see in the background is Mawson Peak, or Big Ben. Believe it or not, it's Australia's highest mountain, 2,745 meters tall, but it's also an active volcano, and myself and three of my friends in a team of four went down to this island some years back to try and climb this active volcano, Australia's tallest mountain, to be the third-ever summiting group to do so. Now, Heard Island's got its challenges. The shape of the island creates its own weather system. It can be fine one minute and then whiteout snowing and incredibly cold the next minute. The winds on Heard Island are absolutely phenomenal. But there's an additional challenge to Heard Island, its location. It's about 4,100 kilometers southwest of Perth in Western Australia. It's not only sea routes. There are no landing grounds there. You can't fly an aircraft there and it's certainly out of helicopter range. So there are challenges involved just to get there. If you get injured or worse on Heard Island, you have 4,100 kilometers to think about how injured you might be. So how did we get there? Well, we took this fishing trawler. The fishing trawler is Southern Champion. Now, at the time, the Southern Champion was Australia's largest fishing trawler, 88 meters long. But it was more than that. It was a fish factory. The fishermen and women onboard that boat would bring about a ton of fish onto the back deck, release some hydraulic doors. Those fish would go down into holding ponds. They'd be processed, snapped frozen into an ice block of fish about 20 kilograms heavy, and then when they next departed or arrived at a port, off they'd go to market. We didn't have to work for passage in the month that it took us to get to Heard Island, but we did. And if anyone wants to whinge about shifts, I'm telling you, the guys and girls on vessels like this do it tough. 12 on, 12 off, often for two months at a time. In fact, the smell is so bad that you can scrub and scrub and scrub your skin in the shower all you like but the only thing that you can smell, the only thing, is fish. The other challenge about Heard Island relating to the weather and the stories that we'd heard was that it was incredibly difficult just to get ashore. We had two small inflatable boats, little Zodiacs with twin 25 horsepower motors, and we were ready for a surf break that rivaled Margaret River in southern Western Australia. But when the time came to set off from the Southern Champion and head into Atlas Cove to confront this amazing surf break, we found nothing at all. The day was incredibly calm. On the left-hand side, you can see the remnants of the 1957 Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition Station, and on the right-hand side, some of the wildlife. You need a permit to get ashore at Heard Island and you get that from Australian Antarctic Division and what the division had told us is you cannot approach any seals, any penguins, or any sea birds closer than 15 meters. But, unfortunately, no one had told the penguins, and as we got into Atlas Cove, tiny little gentoo penguins were literally standing on our toes, looking up at us, asking the question, "What kind of penguin are you?" They had never seen a human being and they were absolutely fearless. On the first night, we shredded one of our two tents. The wind picked up. That fateful weather that we'd heard about manifested itself and the tent poles went completely through the fly. We were down to two tents, one lesser quality tent, which was our reserve tent. We also encountered on our second day the weather being horrendous. It was snowing and in whiteout conditions and it stayed that way for the next week. We decided we were gonna climb this mountain using a siege technique. That is, carrying very heavy loads from base camp to advanced base camp to a camp one to a camp two and then finally our assault on the peak. It was dramatically challenging. The rope between us as we traveled along these routes was 12 meters long, but it was very uncommon that we could see our climbing partner 12 meters ahead of us. The crevasses were daunting. An actual picture of the crevasse you can see on your screen, but these were the easy ones. The ones that were more terrifying were the ones that had a small amount of snow over the top and so you didn't know you were on the crevasse until you fell through and now you and your climbing buddy had to recover yourself complete with that heavy load up out of the crevasse. At camp one, we started to realize the physical effects of what we had done over the past four to five days. Trudging through snow up to our hips carrying heavy loads had started to take its toll. We were low on food. We were low on fuel. And when you're low on fuel in a snow and ice environment, you're also low on water. You need that fuel to be able to melt snow, melt ice, to get to water. We were pushing on in a pretty depleted state. One of our tents had started to leak and leak quite badly to the point where the two individuals using the tent were wet and the cold was starting to induce very mild hypothermia. Camp two was where happiness went to die. The damaged tent on the left-hand side and my tent on the right-hand side, you'll see the marker wands that we were using to be able to find our routes inside the snow, bamboo wands bent over under the weight of the ice in the eight hours before these tents were put up. You also see in front of my tent on the right-hand side a shovel that had been out and the amount of ice that sits on the shovel. It was whiteout conditions and climbing was far from perfect, but myself and my climbing buddy, Matt, decided let's just have a crack. We had one vertical kilometer to climb. We thought, let's go for it. The picture you can see here was a picture taken by Matt when I came out of that tent that you saw on the right-hand side. I was wearing a wet Gore-Tex jacket inside the tent. When we got outside, it was about minus 40 degrees Celsius with wind chill and my jacket just crinkled with sheet ice. Cartoon-like, I watched the jacket completely freeze. Even though our ropes were treated, they were like steel wire rope, twisted and tangled, the 12 meters between me and my climbing buddy, Matt. We were wearing crampons, which hardly made an indentation into the sastrugi, this windblown ice that was absolutely diamond tough. It was so cold. I was wearing three sets of gloves. The metal on the top of my ice ax was burning my fingers, it was that cold, through the three layers of gloves. We just said, "We've gotta get going." We didn't wait for our other two climbing buddies. We just set off, climbing through 100 meters trying as best as we could to avoid the crevasses. And remember, this was an active volcano. So lava flows were also cutting through our tracks. At 200 meters, I started to feel very uncomfortable. The whiteout conditions meant we couldn't see the summit, couldn't see the crevasses, couldn't see the lava flows. Our crampons hardly making an indentation into the ice. If we fell, it was pretty much over. I heard myself as I stopped at that particular moment nearly speak the words of a famous polar explorer, Shackleton, who, when he turned away from an effort on the South Pole, said this, "It's better to be a live donkey than a dead lion." When I stopped, my climbing buddy Matt came back to me. I started hearing myself make incredible amount of excuses. It's cold. I can't hold my ice ax. Our crampons aren't digging in. What about the crevasses and lava flows? We can't see the summit. We'll never find the tent. We'll never make our way back down. Matt simply said, "We'll climb down then." We climbed down the 200 meters wordlessly. I sat in the tent after that for about 30 minutes, wallowing in my pity, thinking that I'd destroyed it, there was no way we were gonna summit this mountain. Our other two climbing partners yelled across from their tent, "Boys, we're glad you came back. We never thought we'd see you again." There's a problem when you just wallow in the things that you think. It has a cognitive load. And I just decided I was gonna get this off my chest. I vented to Matt. I told him how selfish I thought he was for telling me or making me think it was my fault. I told him that realistically, there's no way we could have summited the mountain. And then Matt responded. The only reason why he was mindlessly continuing into that whiteout was because he didn't wanna let me down. He was scared too. The next morning dawned at about 2:00 a.m., and for the first time in a week, we could see the summit of Big Ben. We didn't bother with ropes. We didn't think our other two climbing partners were well enough to make the climb, and we just went for it. It was still incredibly cold, but we were buoyed by the fact that finally we could see the summit of this particular mountain. Off we went climbing through that 200 meter point. At 500 meters, I turned around and looked down. Our two climbing partners who were hypothermic had decided, we want to summit too. They'd pushed past the pain of their physical injuries, their extremities incredibly cold, not really functioning, and these two specs of inspiring human beings were also starting to climb. I thought for the first time in 10 days, we might actually do this. The fast-forward to the end of this story is we did summit on that day. All four of us stood on the summit of Big Ben/Mawsons Peak to be the third-ever team to ever summit Heard Island. It led me to a couple of questions after that. How can we be so physically and mentally degraded with illness racking the team, with equipment malfunctioning, how can we still continue to function? And in many ways, that story and many others from my military career and the stories of my co-authors led us to write this book on resilience. I talked about resilience, our proven model, comprising a number of different factors. Let's talk quickly about each of those factors, and then I want to give you the tools and the techniques that you can employ today to get active in your own rescue for you to do things for you so that other people don't have to. The first layer of our resilience shield is this innate layer. It's part nature, part nurture. It's genetics and epigenetics. It's what you got to where you are now. You all sit there with some level of resilience, but unfortunately, it's not particularly modifiable. We can't press the rewind button to go back to our childhoods and change the way that we were brought up. The first truly modifiable layer is the mind layer, and there are two parts to that. The first is mindset, the view that you take of adversity. Do you see the challenge or do you see the opportunity through the challenge? How much determination and grit do you have? And the second part of the mind layer is meditation and mindfulness, the importance of those things to flush the nonsense from our head. The body layer is sleep, diet, and exercise. The social layer, the importance of social support networks. As we sit here on R U OK? Day, I hope you've reached out to those people that are close to you and that you're close to. The professional layer. If we suck at our jobs, it's likely to bring more stress. So our professional layer is about balancing out our competence and our confidence. We don't want to have high levels of confidence, but low levels of competence. So we constantly have to be improving the professional layer of our resilience shield. And the final layer, adaptation, recognizes our ability to do things that we never thought were possible, to confront the metaphoric zombie apocalypse with nothing more than what you have now, your knowledge, your skills, your attributes, and your experience. We don't have time to go through each of the levels in detail, so I'm gonna focus on three layers only and give you some of the things that you can employ in your own life. For those that are really old, you'll recognize that as a test pattern. In the 1980s, that test pattern came on one of our three television stations at around about 11 o'clock at night and it left to start the programming day at 6:00 a.m. the following morning. Why did we have a test pattern? 'Cause it enabled the stations to reflect on what they'd done well and not so well in the last programming day, to rest, to send those staff home, and also to reset, to prepare ahead of the next programming day. Peculiarly, now it's not that simple. We are bombarded with information. 34 gigabytes so we're told. You are being force fed the equivalent of a 100,000 word book every day. But your brain, and mine, is 200,000 years old. We're still running version 1.0 Cro-Magnon software and we're not due a software upgrade for about another couple of hundred thousand years. We don't have the purge valves to get rid of all of this information we're bombarded with. We knew the importance of the mind layer during our SAS selection course, but only in retrospect. On day one, 150 candidates stand there to undertake this 21-day course that is incredibly physically difficult. Many of those 150 candidates were supreme athletes, incredibly physically fit, but oddly, the really fit ones had withdrawn themselves on day two, three, maybe day four. On day 21, the tough ones got selected. Now, the tough ones still had fitness, no question about it, but they weren't the fittest. So my exam question to you is pretty simple. What's the difference between fitness and toughness? Put that in the chat. And I'm here to say that the difference is what's between our ears. It's that component of mindset, the view you take of adversity. Do you see challenge or do you identify the things that you can do to create the best version of you that you possibly can? So how do you do it, this mind stuff? Well, pretty simply, take up downhill mountain biking. And I'm being somewhat flippant when I say that. 34 gigabytes that is force fed into your head every day means that, practically speaking, you are thinking of four to seven things at any point in time. When you're downhill mountain biking, I'll nearly guarantee you that you're not thinking of four to seven things. You're just thinking of where my wheel goes next and not falling off. You might think of it as downhill mountain biking, but it's a meditative mindfulness practice. Removing our attention from four to seven things down to one thing, or in the case of a formal meditation practice, transcending to think about none things, is the important component of the mind layer. Now, it doesn't have to be downhill mountain biking. It could be golf. It could be macrame. It could be woodwork. It could be the thing that you like doing that gets you into that flow state where you're not thinking about anything else. And one of the wonderful examples in this state is surfing. Find the thing that you can do. And if you're not sure, then just bring your attention to breath. Breathing enables us to emotionally regulate. If you don't have a deliberate, conscious breathing program, you should incorporate one. It is free and no one even knows you're doing it. Now, we work with teams from a range of elite pathways from rugby league to AFL clubs, to rugby union, to motorcar racing teams, and the truly elite have breathing practices. Ballerinas get taught how to breathe. Surgeons get taught how to breathe. Drivers driving down Bathurst main straight at 280 kilometers have a deliberate breathing process. And SAS operators also get taught to breathe. How do you do it? Try box breathing. Breathe in for four, hold for four, out for four, hold for four, and repeat for a number of cycles. Incorporate that into your social and your professional life and, quite frankly, you'll be a far better person. What about this stuff? How many of us out there are trying to learn, trying to memorize things? Often we use this in the wrong way. What research now tells us is that we remember things because of the emotion associated with it. If you think back to your earliest memory as a child, there'll nearly be some quite profound emotion, it might have been happiness, it might have been fear, that has coded in your brain that particular experience. But it's not the emotion itself. It's the neurochemicals that are released. And the most important neurochemical is adrenaline. When you drink coffee, it releases a beta blocker that means you're no longer tired. It opens the adrenal glands and also releases adrenaline. So it assists our learning process. But not the way that we typically drink coffee. Before we try and learn something, don't do that. Drink coffee at the end of a learning event. If you're already a caffeine drinker, then this, again, is an experiment that you can undertake for free if you're trying to remember something. But releasing adrenaline isn't just limited to coffee. You can go for a fast walk after trying to learn something. You can have a cold shower after trying to learn something. There are a variety of ways that will improve your ability to retain information and remember things. Of this healthy trinity in the body layer, sleep, diet, and exercise, there's one superpower, one most valuable player. Can you guess what it is? It's sleep. Sleep trumps those other two things by far is what our research tells us. If you had to compromise between those three elements of the healthy trinity, you would never compromise on sleep. Take the pizza, don't do the exercise, but don't decide, I'll work longer to get a better result. There's plenty of proof, including in the safety space, that that is an error of thinking. In the UK, it was proven recently that doctors who were drunk, that is, over 0.05, perform minor surgical tasks better than doctors that were tired. Now, I'm not sure who undertakes these particular experiments, who's volunteering to be on the operating table, but that's terrifying. In a parallel example, nurses who work a 12-hour shift make 200% more errors than nurses that work an eight-hour shift. It all relates to our ability to rest and rest well. If you're not a bad sleeper, here's our tip stolen from a bunch of neuroscientists. If you wake up at two in the morning or perhaps you can't get to sleep, tell your brain to generate numbers between zero and 99. It will. It's a bit like me telling you, "Don't think of a pink elephant." You think of a pink elephant, right? So your brain will automatically generate these numbers and just focus on the numbers and, peculiarly, it will send you back to sleep. There's a simple reason why. You're not thinking about these four to seven things in your mad monkey mind anymore. You're just focusing on the number. The worst sleepers in our society that we've come across are police officers, and we're using this technique with incredible success to allow police officers to get better rest. Let's talk really quickly about this thing called gut health. Go with your gut, trust your gut, gut instinct, are all a thing. There's the 10th cranial nerve that links our brain and our gut. It enables our gut and the organs in our gut to communicate back to our brain. Interestingly, our gut regulates our mood, our heart rate, and our immuno system. So if you're regularly unwell, have an elevated heart rate at rest, or you're moody, nearly guarantee that it relates to gut health. There's about two kilograms of good bacteria in our gut, in this microbiome, and they need to be constantly fed and you can do that through good probiotics. A Yakult, a yogurt, anything that has live cultures in it. And you have to buy that from the cold section of your supermarket, not in the unchilled section of the supermarket. Incorporate this into your daily practices and you'll find that you will perform overall better. If you don't want to, or in some cases you can't, there is another way. You can take a poo tablet. It's disgusting. You're swallowing a capsule of someone else's excrement. So don't do that. Just add some yogurt to your diet in the morning. In our social layer, this guy Napoleon Hill wrote arguably the first-ever self-help book in 1937 called "Think and Grow Rich." He talked about the importance of our mastermind group, that group of five people that are closest to us in our social layer of your resilience shield. This is really grounded in science. In the 1970s, a Harvard professor called David McClelland came up with a body of research that proved 95% of our success in life relates to who we hang out with, who we habituate with. So think carefully about who your mastermind group of five is. Are they making meaningful contributions to your life? If not, try and spend less time with those unproductive people who might be close to you and try and bring into your mastermind group those that really do inspire you. The work does show that it's friends more than family that are needed in your mastermind group, but family also do count. Indeed, why is it friends? Because family have a preconceived idea of who you are. Oh, Tim, you've never done that before. You'd never like that. You won't be good at it. Whereas a friend or a mentor or an advisor would say, "Yeah, why wouldn't you undertake that meaningful challenge?" Gibbo was talking about his new Weimaraner puppy before we came on air and I'm here to tell you that pets value add to your resilience. I'm hoping most of you out there have pets, and probably most of you will have dogs, which is a good thing, because of all the categories of pets, it's dogs more than cats and others that do contribute to the social layer of your resilience shield. Now, I have a dog. It's probably not as tough as many of your dogs. He's actually half Jack Russell. So he thinks he's really tough, but he's also half Chihuahua, so he's actually really quite pathetic. His name is Jack. There's Jack the dog. Now, Jack's the one on the right-hand side. Now, they do say that dogs look like their owners, and I'm not sure what that says about me. Hopefully your dogs are smarter and better looking than my neurotic Jack. I'd like to thank you for spending a little bit of time talking about this topic of resilience and would love to entertain any questions that you might have on the subject in our Q&A. Take care.
- Thank you very much, Tim. If you aren't a reader, if you don't actually like a hard copy book, then you can get Tim's book as an Audible book, so you can download it and listen while you're driving or listening while you're doing the gardening or the housework. So I really encourage you to do that. I've learned a couple of things. One, I won't be going on holidays with you. I don't like the cold. And two, I'd rather a yogurt than a poo tablet. So, you know, they're my two takeaways today. But in all seriousness, on R U OK? Day, it is an amazing thing to actually think about who your networks are. And I know Darius Boyd spoke yesterday about if you don't have those support networks around you, build them, grow them. If you're not from a family that has that support mechanism, you know, you've got your work colleagues, your friends, your mentors. You know, really build on those 'cause you need them throughout the duration of your life 'cause, inevitably, we all have bad days. We all have difficult moments. So really reach out to those networks. So thank you, Tim. Remember, we've got chat, we've got some Q&A today. The first question is for you, Noel, and Gibbo and Jane can certainly answer this as well, but do you think there should be some sort of restriction for electricians working on switchboards above a certain level without requiring training on arc flash?
- Yeah, no, I'll take this one. I think it's really important to note that electrical safety legislation has very, very prescriptive requirements on when you choose to work on energized equipment. So in fact, unless you meet some of those very specific requirements, it's actually prohibited to work on energized equipment. So what we would expect you to have in place is that front-end work, the risk assessment, your safe systems of work, your competency and your training for your staff, and obviously your PPE. So yeah, there are very strong legislative restrictions on when and how you can work on energized parts and that's detailed in our legislation. So good question, but it's really important that we follow 'cause they're are some of the breaches that we identify when we start looking at people who have received shock or burn injuries from, you know, arc flash, is did they meet the legislative requirements? Thanks, Donna.
- Thanks, Michael. And I think it's important to remember, just 'cause you've got a license doesn't necessarily mean you're competent. We've seen the landscape of electricity change over the last 5, 10, 15, 20 years. So we need to be continually retraining and rethinking of what we are doing. Asbestos is an important and interesting topic today. So the next two questions are for you. I'll wrap them together. What does someone do in the field if they're not sure if it's asbestos? And why do we use shaving cream?
- That's a good question. If you go to a workplace and you're not sure if it's asbestos or not, you're best to assume that it is asbestos. So take the precautions. If you've got time, get it tested at an ART accredited laboratory and that'll give you a yes or a no and that may even give you a chance to get it removed before you have to work on it. Why we use shaving cream, it's just a wet foam. That'll capture any dust or airborne asbestos that's generated while you're working on asbestos. Whipped cream will do the same thing as well, but it's just cheap and easy to get ahold of shaving cream.
- Excellent, I think shaving cream would smell a lot better after a week or two.
- It probably would in the back of the ute, yes.
- Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. So moving over to you, Tim. This is a question from Robbie. How do you not link your self-worth to your role?
- Yeah, our research indicates that a problem occurs when we have this thing called role and identity fusion. If I can break that down, role is what's written on your business card. If all you are as a person is what it's written on your business card, there becomes a problem when, ultimately, that's taken off you. And at some point it will, through retirement, through injury, or through change of circumstance. So in terms of self-worth, what's really important is you diversify your identity portfolio. I would never give you financial advice to take all of your money and put it into one asset class, and that very much is true in the social layer of identity. So yeah, sure, be the electrician, be the business owner, but also be a great father, coach the under sevens basketball side, and do a variety of things that are bigger than you, like volunteering, where there is some shared and common purpose where you can make a contribution to society that is nearly devoid of a business card, where your business card, what you're doing in your professional life, is nearly irrelevant. So diversify that social portfolio. Make sure that you don't have this role identity fusion. And if you want any further example on that, look at elite sportspeople, when they lose their careers through injury or maybe they're not as competent as they thought they were, we start to see them go to maladaptive practices like alcohol and drugs or we start to see mental health problems.
- Thanks, Tim. This next question I'm gonna throw to Jane 'cause I know she's passionate about this and she's already mentioned that, you know, she started in the electrical industry some 40 years ago now. Jane, can you give some practical advice on how we can get more females into the electrical trade and into apprenticeships?
- Well, one of the things that we need is to have women in the trade, so we have role models in the trade, right? And we do, we are starting to now. So there's certainly more. When I started, there were no role models for me to look to obviously, but now we have a number. So from 40 years ago to now, we do have a number. So try and find those people who are. And any women who are in the trade, give your time to be able to talk to. I mean, I met a few weeks back a young apprentice who just wanted to talk to me and see, you know, what it's like for a woman to be in the trade. Give your time if you're in the trade to other women to share your experience and let other women know that it's a great industry to be in. There are so many opportunities. I've been an engineer now, I did an electrical engineering degree and I've been an engineer now for 30 years and an electrician for 40 years. There's places to go. There's good positions that you can get, not just all working on the tools, although there's nothing wrong with that. There's fantastic people on the tools still working on the tools. But there is plenty of opportunities for growth. So just see if you can find, there's also industry groups. There's a great new, well, I don't know how new they are, but Women in Construction, who are getting women together and talking to them. Various groups like that. And so, yeah, just try and seek out role models and have a chat to them is my advice to anyone.
- Great advice, Jane. I think it's Dylan Alcott that said you can't replicate what you can't see. So we really need to make the women the champions of this industry and being at the forefront in people's minds where they can have that conversation and really push that female balance into industry. Michael, over to you, and/or Jane, is there a particular type of equipment that tends to fail an arc?
- No, I mean, I think that's a, I think that would be an area where you wouldn't focus on. I mean, I think obviously aged equipment, as soon as it starts getting aged, you don't know if it's been maintained, you don't know who's worked on that equipment previously. So as you start, I mean, the system shouldn't change. As you go on site and conduct your risk assessment, do your visuals. I mean, we can't stress enough the importance of that risk assessment process at the front end. So no, there's no specific switchboard. I mean, we do have recalls, but most of the old equipment out there is still in service, and with our electrical industry, you are gonna go to multiple different sites in any given day. So we want you to have that, really step back and do that risk assessment before you start opening up any type of switchboard. I think it's really important, and Jane spoke about it, is that priority's to get it de-energized as soon as you can for that access because you don't know what's in behind it, you don't know who's worked there. So I just can't say enough about that risk assessment process, I think. Rather than pick a certain switchboard, I think let's focus on the risk assessment and those requirements and legislation. That's the priority.
- Yeah, so if I can just add to that, absolutely, that risk assessment. And I was leaning towards that when I said, where is this substation in relation to your project? That's far more important, is the size of the pad-mounted transformer and the size of the cabling is what will limit the fault current. It's the fault current that's gonna do the damage to you and your workers. So if you know where the nearest padmount is, if it's close by, look out. You're playing with fire here, literally. And if you're talking about a pole-mounted transformer, don't think that that can't deliver a fair amount of current either. So it's this proximity, it's the amount, it's the kiloamps, the kA, that I was talking about in the presentation earlier, that's what you need to be focusing on, not the kind of switchboard as such.
- Very sound advice. Thanks, Michael. Thanks, Jane. I think the other component that we haven't really touched on today but should be forefront of everyone's mind is we do all the work at the front end so that no one gets hurt at the end of the day, but in the event someone is injured, you really need to know how you're gonna get out, where you are, how you contact emergency services, and, you know, what your location is so if you do have the worst-case scenario, you can get assistance to you as fast as possible. That's the end of our Q&A panel today. Thank you again, everyone, for joining us and a big thank-you to our guest speakers. I'm sure, like me, you've all taken something away from this morning's chat. This is not the end of Electrical Safety Week. We still have tomorrow. If you're free, I encourage you to join us for our electrical safety rental landlords and tenants webinar in the morning. It's really important for those people in our community to understand electrical safety, its hazards, and its risks. We have spoken about a few things that are a bit challenging today. It is R U OK? Day. So on the screen, there's a number of support services of where you can get help. Please put your hand up. You will be absolutely surprised of how many people will say, "I've experienced that, I feel like that, and I wasn't game enough to put my hand up." So please be the brave person, be the courageous person, or alternatively, be the person that's willing to sit and have a chat and listen. So thank you again for joining us. I've said every day this week, electrical safety is not about one of us, but it's about all of us working collectively to work safe, home safe. Thank you.
Electricity contractor webinar powerpoint presentations (PDF, 5.36 MB).
MC welcome and ESO update
Donna Heelan, Electrical Safety Office
Arc flash hazard management
Michael Gibson, Electrical Safety Office
Arc flash case study
Jane Errey, SPA Consulting Engineers (Qld) Pty Ltd
Working with asbestos in the electrical industry
John Snooks, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland
The Resilience Shield: From the battlefield to the boardroom and beyond
Tim Curtis, Director and Author of The Resilience Shield
MC and event close
*Program subject to change