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Electrical contractor webinar

Electricity Safety Week

Mat Rogers, Football legend and Australian Survivor champ

Football legend and Australian Survivor champ, Mat Rogers, discussed the mental health challenges he faced during his football career, his time on Survivor and in his personal life. Mat also talked about how he manages stress and deals with personal loss.

Chris Bombolas:

Good morning and welcome to our electrical contractors webinar. I'm Chris Bombolas from the Office of Industrial Relations and on behalf of OIR and the Electrical Safety Office, thanks for joining us this morning. This morning we'll be looking at electrical safety and in particular reporting unlicensed work and safety incidents. We'll also be looking at solar PV systems and safety around those. We have a special guest joining us here to talk about adversity, and that is Mat Rogers. We'll get to those guests and to those segments very, very shortly.

Chris Bombolas:

But firstly, I would like to respectfully acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we meet and elders past, present, and emerging. Thanks for joining us this morning. As you're all aware, it is Electricity Safety Week and that goes from the seventh to the 11th of September and it reminds us that while electricity helps power up our everyday lives, it can be dangerous. The ESO is hosting three events, digital this year, because of the times that we're in, focusing on health and safety in the industry, particularly mental health.

Chris Bombolas:

These events are tailored for industry leaders, electrical workers, contractors, and apprentices. Yesterday we had the Electricity Safety Summit, today of course we're catering for electrical contractors and electricians, and tomorrow we are catering for apprentices and supervisors involved in the electricity industry. As I said, it is Electricity Safety Week where we are putting the focus firmly back on safety.

Chris Bombolas:

I'd like to acknowledge our football legend and special guest who'll be joining us very shortly, Mat Rogers, and also Donna Heelan, Michael Gibson, and Michael Heinemann from the Electrical Safety Office. Thank you for joining us and if you'd like to be even more apart of this digital event, you have any questions, we will have a panel discussion later on. You can type your name and questions via the chat box to the right of the livestream. To change the size of your screen, select the four small arrows next to the volume bar at the bottom of the screen.

Chris Bombolas:

Time to move to a different track to find out what's happening in the industry, some trends, some issues, and what the ESO is doing to help us. It's time to hear from executive director of the Electrical Safety Office, I'll get that right in a minute, Donna Heelan.

Donna Heelan:

Thanks, Chris. Electricity is certainly not an easy word to say. It's a bot of a tongue-twister. Before I start, I'd like to thank Mat for sharing his story. It's such an important message. When we look at the industry statistics, particularly in the construction and electrical industries, and the amount of men that are taking their lives on a daily and monthly basis in Queensland, they are absolutely alarming.

Donna Heelan:

Something that really resonated with me Mat, was when you talked about your goal setting. A very dear friend of mine that also lost her life at a young age from breast cancer, used to always say, "You need something to love, something to do, and something to look forward to." That's something that I really got out of your message today. My other key take away that Chris highlighted, was about looking out for your mates, which has been a real theme for the last couple days for Electricity Safety Week.

Donna Heelan:

So thank you to everyone for joining us today and thank you for our speakers. Electricity Safety Week is an important event and a really important event for you to take your time out from today. I think I said at our last webinar that just taking the time out from today is not enough. You really need to make a commitment to what you're going to do to make your workplace, your homes, and the communities in Queensland safe.

Donna Heelan:

The electrical industry in Queensland is critical for our every day way of life. It powers our workplaces, our schools, our hospitals, and the little things we take for granted. Things like our air conditioners, our computers and our phones. I did say yesterday that sometimes I would prefer not to have a phone, but today's lifestyle makes it an essential, albeit very annoying too. For those of you, I may be talking statistics that you already know, if I do, forgive me.

Donna Heelan:

In Queensland, we have approximately 12,000 licensed electrical contractors and 56,000 licensed electrical workers. During the last financial year of 2019, 2020, the Electrical Safety Office responded to 1164 electrical incidents. We conducted 1272 response assessments and completed 2369 audits, and issued 1921, excuse me, notices. One of those incidents during this time, sadly was a fatality, which is one fatality too many. I reflected about what I wanted to talk about today, and whilst I want to give you an update about the activities of the ESO, I also want to take this opportunity to remind you all about the importance of working safely, for yourself, your employees, your families, and your mates.

Donna Heelan:

Over the years I have had, and still have, a role, which means I am notified of serious workplace incidents or fatalities. It doesn't matter for me if it's 5:00 on a Friday or 2:00 on a Monday morning. It never escapes me that in that moment, the impact that that incident is going to have on that injured person or to the deceased loved ones from that day forward. The fact that that person may never walk again, will never kick a ball, will undergo many significant surgeries or months of extremely painful processes to treat burns. The mental and financial anguish and impact for those families and their friends. For those that have died at work, the family they leave behind. The dad that won't be there for Saturday's netball game. The mum that won't ever get to see her son get married. Or a parent that has the tragic task of burying their child.

Donna Heelan:

This is the ripple effect that I speak of very frequently, and the reason you need to be safe at work. The reason you need to look out for your mates. The reason you don't cut corners, and the reason you speak out if you think the task is unsafe, and the reason that you don't take risks. I don't need to tell any of you on this webinar today that electricity is a silent and deadly hazard.

Donna Heelan:

If you take one thing away from today, please let it be the message about why safety's important to you, your employees, your colleagues, your family, and your mates. I've been privileged to work with the affected family's committee over the years, and all the members of that group have either lost a loved one or have suffered a permanent life-changing injury. Whilst it's a committee that achieves such positive change and offers immeasurable support, it is a group that you or your loved ones don't want to be eligible to join.

Donna Heelan:

On that note, I wanted to touch briefly on what the Electrical Safety Office is doing and the electrical safety plan for Queensland for 2018 to 2020, and the number of areas that the amazing electrical safety team are working on. We're working to improve electrical safety for regional Queensland. We're focusing on areas that are over represented with incident data to deliver both engagement and compliance activities in those shires. These areas that we're focusing on for the next six to eight months, will include the Isaac, Hinchinbrook, Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Carpentaria, and Gladstone areas. It's even harder than electricity, Bommer, Gladstone.

Donna Heelan:

These activities will include our key priority risk areas, contact with overhead lines is sadly still happening on a daily basis. We're either putting machinery in them, we're putting farm equipment into them, we're driving into them, we're doing all sorts of things with overhead lines. Safety switches, we're a big advocate of safety switches and one safety switch is not enough. You need safety switches on all your circuits to protect your home and your loved ones that come and visit and live there. The risk of unlicensed work, which I'll speak about shortly. The risk of working near energized equipment, and buying and maintaining safe electrical equipment.

Donna Heelan:

Whilst I'm talking very briefly about working safely around energized equipment, if you haven't seen Mark's story, I really encourage you to take the time to listen to him. He has a really compelling story about the risks of working near energize parts and thankfully he's still alive to share those lessons. If you haven't seen it, have a look at our website or Google Mark's story, Arc Flash. I believe Mark will be coming to speak with us tomorrow.

Donna Heelan:

We are highlighting the importance of property owner and tenant electrical safety. We had a webinar similar to this in recent weeks, which had almost 1,500 registrations and shared the critical messages about electrical safety for landlords. We're partnering with the Residential Tenancy's Authority to continue this important dialogue. We're insuring we promote compliance by using all of our available legislative powers. In recent weeks for the first time, the Electrical Safety Office successfully made an application in the Brisbane Magistrates Court for an injunction against a company that had repeatedly failed to comply with improvement notices issued by the electrical inspectors for unlicensed electrical contracting. This is a model that we'll continue to use into the future.

Donna Heelan:

While we're talking about unlicensed electrical work, this is a big target area for us this year and something we're going to continue to pursue. As I'm sure you will all agree, unlicensed electrical work is dangerous and puts Queenslanders at risk at injury or death. Like Mat said, we don't want him putting light switches in our homes, we certainly don't want anyone doing anything electrically orientated in our homes unless they've got the right electrical licenses.

Donna Heelan:

Since March this year the inspector had issued a 112 enforcement notices and issued penalty notices in excess of $42,000 for unlicensed electrical work. This is an area that I said we continue to focus on, but I'm asking for your help, and I know Gibbo, or Michael Gibson will certainly talk to this point. You guys are out there on the field every day. You see stuff, you know when people and property are safe or unsafe. We need to be in this together and to do this you can report any non-compliant or un-electrical work you see on your daily activities by contacting the Electrical Safety Office and we will follow-up those notifications.

Donna Heelan:

In closing, this is a really important week, and Chris has mentioned, we have a number of different activities. I would encourage you all to join us tomorrow morning for the apprentices and supervisors webinar. The more people we can engage, the more we can ensure that Queenslanders can safely work and live around electricity. Thanks for joining us today. Thanks.

Chris Bombolas:

Thanks, Donna. Donna mentioned briefly that we will be joined by the director of field services from the ESO, Michael Gibson. Michael's going to talk to us this morning about unlicensed work and safety incidents, and reporting those and making sure we stay on top of those and we continue to ensure that people do the right thing. Michael? Gibbo, your turn, mate.

Michael Gibson:

Yes, thank you, Chris, and good morning everybody. As we identified, so what I want to do today is probably cover the legislative requirements of what we expect and what is mandatory to report, why it's mandatory to report, and why we want to know about it. Then we'll talk about some practical examples of what we would do when we receive some of those reports.

Michael Gibson:

Now, on your screen now, our electrical safety legislation defines two incidents and notifications that are reportable. We call them dangerous electrical events and serious electrical incidents. These both are mandatory requirements. You have to report them when you're conducting a business or undertaking. What we want to cover off, we'll look at the definitions of what they are and what I'll probably talk about some practical examples of what would constitute a dangerous electrical event or a serious electrical incident.

Michael Gibson:

Just as a little bit of background, like Donna said, we receive lots of notifications from members of the public, from employers, from concerned people, from apprentices. We would accept all those notifications, we will triage them. We've got a special department within the Electrical Safety Office, within OIR, called assessment services. Their role is to look at every notification, triage what's in it, and then they will allocate it to either ESO or Work Health and Safety. While we got definitions of what is and what isn't reportable, we're certainly not going to challenge somebody that makes that phone call. Give us the information you've got and we'll have a quick assessment of it and we'll always get back to you.

Michael Gibson:

I'll have a quick look at what these definitions are. What we want to talk about now is, we would call it dangerous electrical event, and legislation defines those dot points. We've got circumstances involving HV equipment, we've got events involving electrical equipment that may or may not cause significant property damage, and we've previously spoken about it, performance of unlicensed work. The performance of electrical work, whereas there's a lot of that work to properties that's not electrically safe. Now that can be a bit of performance by electrical contractor and it certainly can be somebody who's unlicensed. Then we'll look at some of the equipment.

Michael Gibson:

Those that don't know, a lot of plug in equipment. We look at c-tick approval process and electricians who identify equipment in the course of their business that hasn't got the appropriate c-tick markings or approval, then they can report that to us and we'll have a look at the equipment and how it came into that market.

Michael Gibson:

We'll look at some practical examples of what a dangerous electrical event is. Like we say, in regard to HV, some of the really simple ones are just fallen power lines, any HV fallen power lines or unsecured access to HV equipment whether it's substations, private networks, that type of thing, particularly plant contact with underground or overhead cabling. They're all reportable as HV incidents, they're all DEE events. If you're conducting work, you're digging up cabling, that type of thing, then any plant contact is certainly reportable to us and we'll have a look at that.

Michael Gibson:

Now, if you're working on overhead, you've got cranes working, you've got a concrete pump, any form of plant overhead and you're hitting overhead lines, certainly that's reportable to us. We've got a requirement there for significant property damage. The ultimate, probably the most common cause of significant property damage in this instance, is fires. Now, whether that equipment is plug in or whether it's part of the installation, if we have a fire that's originated from a piece of equipment or that installation, then that needs to be reported to us.

Michael Gibson:

Other examples could well be the arc flash or we'd look at... Goodness, arc flash events. Sorry, yeah. We look at arc flash, particularly where that property damage was caused by the performance of the electrical work. Now I've got examples where a neutral may be left of, we've got floating voltages, I've got other examples where we've got transposed conductors and switchboards have been damaged, that type of thing. They are all, may instigate significant property damage and they certainly need to be reported.

Michael Gibson:

We spoke about, on a number of occasions, unlicensed electrical work. Now we are taking a lot of work in this regard for this year. We're very concerned by the amount of work that people are either undertaking or advertising for on online media. We're going to blitz it and we're going to continue to blitz it, because we think it's a constant issue in our industry. Reporting unlicensed electrical work is a really important part of your life and you can provide that information to us. What we would expect, but there's that level of knowledge that you have become aware when you identify that unlicensed work. You may observe the work, you may speak to a member of the public, or you may be told by other people.

Michael Gibson:

That would all constitute as unlicensed work and it needs to be reported as much information as you can provide. It can be reported as part of that process and then our inspectors will follow it up and do a detailed review of that information you've provided. It's really helpful, if you see it, observe it, report it. We'll triage it and if we can, we'll take the action necessary as part of our legislation requirements.

Michael Gibson:

The other one we look about it is the performance of electrical work resulting in a personal property being unsafe. This is a little bit different to significant property damage. It could be a worker exposing themself. They've left a power point off a wall, they've left unterminated cabling, it could be any of those situations where as a result of that work, something now is not safe.

Michael Gibson:

The other one we talk about is serious electrical incident. Now, this is a little bit easier and a little bit less qualification. Unfortunately if a person is killed by electricity, it's a mandatory recording, that is a give me. A person receives a shock or injury and that's treated by a doctor, then that would be defined as a SEI and is reportable to us, or if a person receives a shock as a result of high voltage work. All those instances are reportable as SEI events. When they get reported to us, they'll get allocated to an inspector. An inspector will have a detailed review of that scene.

Michael Gibson:

I've got a little bit more information about what we want you to do in regard to the scene, but it's really important that we protect that scene, we don't touch any of that equipment, and then we will either release the scene over the phone or you'll get that opportunity to make it safe and then an inspector will attend and we'll take carriage of that scene in the interim.

Michael Gibson:

I mean, these types of matters they deserve to be investigated. I want people to understand that that's why you're reporting it, apart from being a mandatory requirement, the people involved in any of those incidents they deserve to know what happened. We want industry to understand that when we look at it, we're trying to confirm legislative requirements, but also trying to confirm what was the cause of it and how we can stop it happening in other situations. It's really important when we have serious electrical incidents that they get reported to us.

Michael Gibson:

That's one of the other areas we spoke about, is about that not disturbing the scene. Report the incident, but do not disturb the scene. You are allowed to make it safe, make it safe, report it to us, and then we'll follow it up with an inspector and make sure that the evidence stays as it is so we can do a detailed examination and we haven't contaminated that scene. That's pretty well it for serious electrical incidents.

Michael Gibson:

Now the other thing is the avenues that you can report those matters to us. Reporting complaints obviously we've got a website, there's clear directions in regard to the website. There's incident notification process, and there's an actual form that you'll fill out online and send that in. Also, you can email us at that email address and certainly contact us if you've got any concerns. You'll get put through one of our dedicated call staff and they'll get back to you with any information they can. At this stage, Chris, thank you.

Chris Bombolas:

Thanks, Gibbo. I'm calling Gibbo, Gibbo, because we've got two Michaels, just to save the confusion, but that was Michael Gibson. We're going to move along to our next topic and solar systems, all the rage at the moment. Everybody wants one of those on top of their roof, save their energy bills, and to save the planet maybe long-term. We wanted to discuss solar PV system safety and to do that, please welcome Michael Heinemann from the Electrical Safety Office.

Michael Heinemann:

Thanks, Chris. Good morning everyone, thanks for taking the time to join us today. Today I'm going to run through a little bit about solar safety with you. To kick off I thought we'll just talk about how much is out there. As you can see there, there's quite a number of systems connected in Queensland already, 715,000. We have one in three households have solar, making us a world leader in that regard. In 2020, in July this year, you can see there 6000 businesses and residential systems were connected. In 2019, one solar system was installed every nine minutes. That means a lot of you are doing a lot of work out there.

Michael Heinemann:

If we look what's coming to the future, Queensland is expected to spike 20% of its electricity consumption by renewable energy sources and heading up to 50% by 2030. As we progress towards this target, the safety in all aspects of installing solar, so that's design, the construction, and the operation of these systems is quite crucial. Solar is becoming more affordable, and that were headed to a 50%, means we're going to end up doing a lot more work in that space.

Michael Heinemann:

When you're looking at all the aspects of your design and that and your installation, please make sure that you look at your equipment, make sure that it is compliant, it's certified, and purchased from your certified suppliers. The other thing I'd like to probably point out in that space too, is that while we're installing these things and we install them and they're compliant, we need to make sure that the follow-on phase, which is the maintenance of these things. These things are designed to last for about 20 to 25 years. We need to ensure that whoever we're providing them to is understanding that maintenance requirements. The standard reference's lifetime, and I suppose the operating, and we want it to operate safely for its lifetime and really in the Queensland sun, that's going to be a hard task.

Michael Heinemann:

The next part I thought I'd just touch on is around compliance. What you can see on your screen there is just some common concerns that we found from our audits and our sign inspections as inspectors. Under our wiring rules, AS3000, you can see there around sections two, three, and five. Starts around how you install it, how you protect it, and how you earth it, and the standard regarding to PV systems, is around section three, four, and five. The safety issues, how you install that equipment, and the marking and documentation. Very crucial to the operator and the customer to understand what's going on down the track.

Michael Heinemann:

One thing I will say though, that saying that you didn't know or you weren't aware of the standards or the compliance, is something that's not acceptable. As a professional, it's up to you to know that, it's also up to you to make sure your customer's aware of everything upfront when you're going to potentially install a system. It's not only just going in and installing a system, give them the whole picture so they know. You don't go and buy a brand new BMW and never service it in it's lifetime, so a solar system is no different.

Michael Heinemann:

Okay, and the next area there I'd just like to touch on is just making you aware of all the standard, codes of practice and guidelines that are out there. We've got the big one at the top there which is our bible, wiring rules, AS3000. 3008 for your cable selection, 5033 and 4777 in regards to your inverters and your PV systems, 5139, which is our battery standards, which has just been released. Some of you may be aware of the code of practice for the construction operation of solar farms and I'll touch a little bit more on that later. Also, don't forget your industry bodies for your technical help and guidance information, particularly around certified products, if you're unsure what you're buying is not correct, and also for your design installation practices.

Michael Heinemann:

A couple of things on those standards, 5033, amendments one and two have now been published for 12 months, so that they're certainly enforced, and certainly the new battery standard 5139. The other thing to touch on too with standard, codes of practice guidelines, make sure you're up to date as I said previously. Not knowing or saying, "I wasn't aware," really isn't an excuse. Does your business have a mechanism for keeping your work practices and standards current?

Michael Heinemann:

Okay, the next area I wanted to touch on, was isolators and disconnectors. You can see on your screen there, we can see what happens when things go wrong and they end up on a black goopy mess on the roof or potentially somewhere else. These pieces of equipment are vital for a solar system, for it's safe operation, for it's maintenance and for isolation in an emergency. The correct installation is vital. Ensure you select the appropriate one for it, it's going to be installed. Looking at it's location, it's voltage, it's current rating, is it a certified product? That's when you would start to look at the electrical equipment safety scheme database, or the EESS data base, which we've developed and are pushing out. When they're installed, as you can see there on the picture on the left, they install it vertically unless you're allowed to install them otherwise by the manufacturer.

Michael Heinemann:

You're cables enter into these, or your conduits enter in, enter in through the bottom, not through the top face. The idea being that we want this long-term water ingress to not be an issue, so being the way it is, it'll hopefully keep the water out. When you mount it, seal it up, seal it up appropriately as per the manufacturers instructions, ensuring that you've got a nice tight seal and no water can get in there. The other thing too, if it's out in the weather, make sure you've got an appropriate shroud over it so that it's not exposed to direct weather or sunlight, so that you maintain the running of the enclosure.

Michael Heinemann:

Installation practices. What you can see on your screen there is what happens when it's not quite installed quite right, ends up a lovely charred mess. Depending on where it is, it can cause quite a lot of damage. Some of the common things that we do come across when we're doing our inspections is in particular cables laying on roofs, plastic cable ties used as primary support, cable glands are not the appropriate type. As an example, just a single hole gland, once you use it for multiple cables, you should have a multi hole gland. IP ratings are not being maintained, so silicon is not appropriate, nor is drilling holes in enclosures to drain the moisture. Conduits not joined appropriately, lose connections or mismatched connectors. All these things you'll find have been standard pick up on our standards through various amendments. Make sure you cross these and install the things correctly.

Michael Heinemann:

One of the biggest problems we do have with the solar systems is water ingress. As soon as it gets in, we start to have the issues, we start to see some of the pictures you've seen before. Okay, I just wanted to touch on earthing a little bit here. If we just look at this picture here, it just looks like a pretty good example of an earthed PV module. If you have a little close look at it, you can actually see there, what would appear to have a chemical reaction between dissimilar metals, which has occurred over a period of time. Now, that will affect the earthing of that module, so it's critical that you get the earthing of your systems correct to ensure that everything gets kept at earth potential and leads to no one getting a shock off a system if there was something wrong.

Michael Heinemann:

Ensure that your connections are fit for purpose, follow any manufactures instructions. That would include any tool setting, particularly when you're tightening up a bolt. Make sure it's protected against corrosion, ensure that the system can be maintained or have repairs done to it without affecting earthing of the whole system. Make sure you never use self-tapping screws or POP rivets to make your connections onto the frames.

Michael Heinemann:

Okay, roof spaces, many of you can probably point out a lot of things in that picture of what's wrong and what's right. Just wanted to point out that roof spaces can be a dangerous place for anyone going into those. Very important with solar DC cables when they are run in ceiling spaces or wall cavities or under floors for that matter, that they are running metallic or HD conduit. Your AC cables, if they're running in this space, are to be run as the requirements of AS3000, particularly pay attention to the areas that are deemed likely to be disturbed so that you put the appropriate mechanical protection in there. The other part with the roof space is your own work procedures. When you're getting up into these spaces to do some work, we recommend turning the power off and also having a safe system of work to manage yourself while you're in that space.

Michael Heinemann:

Safe operations, so the safe operation of a system is crucial, not only for just turning it on, but also over it's lifetime and the different people that may interact with it. A solar system is a long-term investment for an owner or a business or anyone that matter. It's very, I suppose, crucial that they are aware of the requirements to have that system operating safely. I'm going to be touching on the maintenance requirements.

Michael Heinemann:

In 5033, clause 5.7, it gives you that you must provide the customer documentation. That documentation will include maintenance. Also, look at the manufacturers instructions on it to be able to put together a detailed plan for your customer. The other parts of that, we talk about the labelling, so the labelling of it teaches how to operate it correctly, provides detailed information for emergency situations, how to shut it down.

Michael Heinemann:

Okay, I said earlier that I'd touch a little on solar farms or what is not a solar farm. From the code of practice there you can see a short little definition around what a solar farm is considered to be, of at least a 100kW, and will be operated or maintained by a person conducting a business or undertaking. With that said, solar farms are not just parcels of land with thousands of panels on them, with a direct connection to the HV network, they can be simply on top of a building like we're in today that qualify into that definition. It's something we're coming across a little bit more and more in our inspections that persons conducting a business or undertaking aren't aware that they actually have a solar farm, the code of practice that comes into play to provide them information to meet their duties.

Michael Heinemann:

Please ensure that, if you are in this area, that your customers are aware of that. Section five of that code of practice details, how to meet your duties in regards to operation and maintenance? Some other considerations I'd just like to raise. I mean, we are talking about electrical safety this week, but given that it is solar systems and where they're installed, I'd just like to touch on a couple of other ones, which are around falls from heights, slips, trips and falls. Things falling from heights, objects, hazardous manual tasks, depending on where you are, particularly say an example a solar farm and installing thousands of infusers. You may have a plant onsite, exposed to the noise, excavation on the larger jobs, heat stress and fatigue management. Please keep your other considerations in relation to work with health and safety at the forefront of your mind as well. With that being said, that's me. Thank you very much.

Chris Bombolas:

Thanks, Michael. You can see on the screen there some of the key contact details there, the 1300 number, 1300362128, and then our website contact details for all things ESO. Well, it's time now to put our speakers to a panel situation. If you'd like to throw a question at either of the Michaels, or to Mat Rogers, all you have to do is type your name and question via the chat box to the right of your screen. Get them in quick, because we've only got about 10 or 15 minutes to wind up today's proceedings. Get in as many questions as we can to Mat, Michael, and of course, Gibbo. You guys all good to go? Yes, I can see the three wise men, yes.

Michael Heinemann:

Yeah.

Michael Gibson:

Ready.

Chris Bombolas:

First question is from Dom and it's to Mat. You spoke about setting goals with your wife every three months, what's your next big goal in life? Share with us what it is in the next three months other than going to a hotel on the Gold Coast again, one that you haven't been to so far.

Mat Rogers:

Well, thanks Chris. Thanks, Dom. Well, there's a couple of things we're working on a lot right now. Our son Max he's 14, we're working on getting him involved in sport and finding the right sort of path for him. That's the big goal at the moment, that's the one we're really focusing on. All our other kids are really active, Max is a little bit sort of more , so we're trying to sort of get him out there and get him into stuff, and I'm writing a book at the moment. I'm writing it, not ghost, that's me, yes. You heard that here. Yeah, the goal is to have a number one bestseller.

Chris Bombolas:

Having heard you speak today and with some of the content, possible content that could be in it, I'll be the first one to line up for a copy of that one. I've got a quick question before we go to our next question, and it's to you Michael, not Gibbo, Michael Heinemann. Michael, you spoke about the installations and it was aimed at contractors and electricians and the experts. As a consumer, as someone who has a solar system on his roof and it's only recently been put in, how do I know all of that has been done correctly? I'm no expert. I can't look up at the roof and go, "Gee, I hope everything's good." How do I know or have the confidence that that work is competent in the first place?

Michael Heinemann:

I guess we'll go back probably to the start there, that Chris, most important thing is to make sure the person you've got installing it is licensed.

Chris Bombolas:

Yup.

Michael Heinemann:

You can do that on our website and check they are licensed. At the end of the job though, your contractor will give you required documentation around your solar system and also documentation to say they've done the work safely according to our electrical legislation, which is called a certificate of compliance or you might here it being called a certificate of test. He's got to give you one of those and that's actually him saying that, "I've done the work for you today. This is the work I've done and it has been done to the regulations." You'll also find some electrical contractors are registered as a clean energy installer, so they've also gone through a process where their work is audited to ensure that they are installing to the regulations, to the standards, and they guarantee that work as well.

Chris Bombolas:

Going back to Gibbo and your presentation, that if that work hasn't been done correctly and he signed a document that says I've done that to the proper standards, then they're liable for that or could face potential prosecution?

Michael Heinemann:

Yeah, that's what I'd say yes to. Now, if you come across that and you think somethings not quite right as Michael said, we've got reporting mechanisms there. Comes through, gets triaged and someone like myself potentially will be knocking on your door to ask to have a look at it and do that check out for you.

Chris Bombolas:

The unfortunate part about that is that quite often it's not until an incident occurs or a problem occurs that you realize that there is a problem.

Michael Heinemann:

Yes, that's right, unfortunately, yeah.

Chris Bombolas:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Heinemann:

I suppose what I said, upfront, making sure they are licensed to start with, they should be giving you at least a certificate which sometimes may be on an invoice to say that they've done it to the standard, at least you've got something to say of that nature. Other thing I suppose to look for, you might notice that the person is affiliated to industry bodies and things like that to give you some assurance that they've got the technical help behind to do the job.

Chris Bombolas:

Cool. Okay. Let's go back to you, Mat. We've got a question from Nicole, and Nicole's wondering, how do you manage every day stress? In addition to the Queen's tips on how to manage an injury, mam was very good to you on that occasion in the 90 seconds that you spent with her and her corgi's. What else have you found effective?

Mat Rogers:

Well, on the stress front I'll say that stress it's in everyone's life, I mean, that's the reality of it. We've all got things, but one thing that I've learnt to do is to manage it. Making sure I'm not creating more by not doing what I'm meant to do. I think we create a lot of stress in our life by making poor decisions and I think a lot of the things that we potentially should be doing and that we are doing are probably different and that can create some stress in your life. I try to get on top of things early and quick. My life's a bit of a zoo. There's a lot going on with kids and different stuff and a lot of stuff like this that I do and writing a book. There's a lot of stuff that sort of can build up in my life and I try to be as organized as possible. That's probably one of the most important things that I find, is being organized and having things in order and then just ticking off boxes really, and it feels good.

Mat Rogers:

I mean, I got to tell you, when I've got something that I have to do and it's sort of stressing me out, I just sort of try to break it down into little steps. If you look at the whole big picture of what you've got to do at the end of the day, it can really sort of fluster you a little bit and create a little bit more stress that's undue. I'd say just sort of stay on top of the little things and the big picture will sort of come into focus.

Mat Rogers:

On the injury side of things, I have had a lot of injuries in my life, there's no question. Some little ones and some big ones, but I just sort of see professionals. I let them do their job. That's probably the most important thing. I've been known to be pretty good at the old self-diagnosis, but I've realized that Dr. Google isn't quite as good as actually going and sitting down with someone who's got years and years of experience and helping me understand what I need to do to get things better. If I can recommend anything, it's yeah, stuff the internet and go and see a professional.

Chris Bombolas:

You played in an era where they were just coming into that professional medical treatment and stuff like that, with ice baths and recovery and all of that. Injury prevention, were you any good at that?

Mat Rogers:

No.

Chris Bombolas:

No.

Mat Rogers:

I didn't like stretching. The ice baths I still scratch on my head and wonder what they were good for, but I'm sure that they do something. No, it wasn't ideal, but look, at the end of the day, if you're in a physical workspace, you're going to hurt yourself. I always used to say, when I played a game of football, it wasn't like, "If this is going to hurt," it's how much it's going to hurt today. That's the reality of the profession that I played, but it's just staying on top of things. The prevention wasn't so good, but definitely the post injury or soreness or whatever I had to deal with, I made sure that I got on top of it pretty quick.

Chris Bombolas:

All right, another one for you. If you see signs in mate or a family member that they're struggling, what's the best way to check in, because it's always an awkward conversation? I think as humans we feel awkward started that conversation. How do you check in on them without making it really obviously that you're checking in?

Mat Rogers:

I don't think it's an issue not to be obvious, I really don't. When I was going through a bit of a challenge a couple years ago and my brother was very upfront of why he wanted to speak to me, and it made me feel good about that he'd recognized something. Can I just say this, I don't want this to come across the wrong way, you know in Australia it's like, "Let's go have a beer and have a chat?" Can I just recommend not doing that? Go and do it over a cup of coffee, or go and do it in an environment that doesn't change your way of thinking. I think it's so easy as Australian's, it's just, "Let's go to the pub and have a beer and check in on how things are going." I think you got to give this situation the time and the importance that it deserves. If you feel like a mate's struggling, be brave, that's probably one of the other things I'd say. Be brave and have the courage to go and sit down and check in, because I'll tell you what's harder, is dealing with the consequence of not.

Mat Rogers:

I had to deal with that and albeit I didn't recognize the signs at the time, but I'll tell you what, if I had the opportunity to go back in time and sit down in front of my dad and ask him the tough questions that needed to be asked, I'll tell you what, it would've been a lot easier than dealing with what I had to deal with, all the ramifications of not. Be brave, I'll say. Go and sit down in an environment that isn't influenced by alcohol, and ask the question. Be real, I mean, that's probably the most important thing, being real. Don't be flippant about it. Ask the question, if you don't feel like you've got the right answer, ask it again. It's not that people don't want to tell you, but it's a hard thing to talk about when you're struggling, and I've been there.

Mat Rogers:

It's hard to talk about, but they'll be grateful as a friend, or a family member, if you've gone down and sit with them and you've taken the time out. You've been brave enough to ask them how they're doing, what can you do to help, and maybe recommending going and seeing someone.

Chris Bombolas:

Gibbo, one for you. This is coming from Wayne in Wayne's World. He wants to know, when you report an incident, what happens next? Where does it go from there?

Michael Gibson:

Okay, Wayne. Yeah, I think I discussed it a little bit. Yeah, when you report an incident to us, you'll certainly get a record of that report and then it'll be triaged internally. Now, if that triaging requires that matter to be allocated to an inspector, then an inspector will be allocated the job, and you'll certainly be contacted by the inspector. He'll attend site, if that's possible, conduct his examination on site, and if it's required, he'll take the necessary enforcement action. Now, our priority in most instances is going to be to address the electrical safety risk of that report and then we'll determine if there's been any breaches in legislation and the inspector will take that appropriate enforcement action. In any case you'll always get a feedback or result of that outcome, whether there has or hasn't been enforcement action taken. The person who's made that notification will always be informed on the outcome of the investigation.

Chris Bombolas:

Okay. Great. Fair advice. We've got a couple more questions, we need to wind up the panel session and bring a close our presentation. For you Michael another one, for installers what's the biggest risk and how do they eliminate it?

Michael Heinemann:

Okay, so just the biggest risk is not probably understanding the job first before you go into it. It's very important that you go and check it out first. From what I've seen originally in solar, that our system was sold by someone who didn't have any knowledge of what needed to be done, which then put pressure on the person installing that. To hit the targets of whether it was you're only needing X amount of dollars to install this or you've only got X amount of hours or days or whatever it is to get the job done. I would certainly recommend take the time to go and have a look and assess it properly. No different to any risk assessment methodology they would use in the safety world as well. Certainly don't shortcut the corners. I think to eliminate that risk is a thorough inspection of the job at first.

Chris Bombolas:

All right, here's another one for you. If you can drill holes in a DC isolator enclosure to drain out water, what can you do to prevent moisture build up?

Michael Heinemann:

I guess the first thing is ensuring from the onset that you install it as per the instructions from the manufacturer. The enclosures should be designed and certified to a name or level, which is a requirement now from our regulations. If you still coming across these types of issues, I recommend going back to the manufacturer and having that discussion around what else can we do. He may be able to fit a purpose made any condensation drain, you can only fit those if the manufacturer's going to allow them to be fitted or they have one for that product that you're using.

Chris Bombolas:

Okay. You might know this one, Michael. This name looks familiar, Brian R. Where can I find out more info on battery installation? Is this a loaded question by the way, do we know Brian R?

Michael Heinemann:

No, I wouldn't know at all after the last couple of days. As I mentioned earlier, there is the new standard 5139, but from an industry perspective there are a group of industry bodies that have got together and put together a best practice guide around battery installations and their electrical requirements. If you Google best battery installation, you'll get some searches there around a guide, which you can download. It doesn't cost you anything to download it, go grab it. It gives you steps through the stages of your installation, to how to install it. It also, sorry, gives you a risk management process as well, particularly when you're dealing with batteries and explosions and things like that.

Chris Bombolas:

All right, last question, and I thank everybody at home who's logged in or at work and joining us for our webinar this morning, particularly with some of the questions that you've offered up for our panel. You can bring us home, Gibbo. This is from Bill M. compliance activity. What and how will you be engaging in the following areas, and we know from yesterday from the summit about regional and rural Queensland has got a few issues that are bubbling and that we need to address urgently. So the following areas, Isaac, Hinchinbrook, Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Gladstone.

Michael Gibson:

Yeah, I mean, as Donna stated, those areas did come up in hospital admissions data and some of our data that we evaluate. We certainly don't want to just concentrate on areas where there's high levels of population. We do want to get our inspectors out into the regions and those particular locations like Isa and Cloncurry and Gladstone, we are planning on doing like a one week activity where we will do a bit of a combination of engagement and compliance activities. Now, we will certainly liaise with the local councils, the major contractors in those areas where we can actually have some one-on-one discussion with them. Have a look at some of the installations, any new constructions that are going on out there and just really get that rapport going with them so they feel a little bit more confident, they can report matters to us, and we get a bit of our feel of how the compliance level is going out in those regions.

Michael Gibson:

Like I said, they are remote some of those areas, but they certainly shouldn't feel like we're not going to engage with them and we will take enforcement action in those areas where we do determine and identify breaches of our legislation. That's really important for us, Chris. Yeah.

Chris Bombolas:

Yeah, and look, it won't be engagement just with the electrical experts, you'll be with community leaders, real estate, with key players in that industry.

Michael Gibson:

I think that's critical, Chris. I mean, yeah if we got the major players, like the real estate. Yeah, I agree. Sometimes we won't know all the key stakeholders, but we'll do a lot of research at that front end and we welcome people contacting us in those areas to come and find us and see what we can do.

Chris Bombolas:

Including the CWA?

Michael Gibson:

Oh, yes.

Chris Bombolas:

Who we heard from yesterday, who will be having an ear into the husbands to make sure they are electrically safe.

Michael Gibson:

Yes, the worlds great influences.

Chris Bombolas:

Yes. Well, thank you very much to the panel for joining us, for answering your questions. Thank you for your questions. Certainly there's a few other ways you can get involved in electricity safety week, which runs through until the 11th. Every day this week we are posting a question for electrical workers on our Facebook page. All you have to do is answer the question correctly and you could win one of five $100 trade equipment voucher. Well worth taking the time to answer a simple question and who knows, you could be getting that $100 trade equipment voucher. If you're an electrical apprentice or a supervisor, why not join us tomorrow morning at the bright and bubbly time of 6:30 AM where we will have another webinar, specifically aimed at you guys.

Chris Bombolas:

Today's webinar was recorded, minus Mat's presentation as a whole. It will be available at electricalsafety.qld.gov.au, along with a wide range of other electrical safety information and resources. Shortly we will be emailing all of you guys who joined us today, a feedback survey. We really do value your feedback. It helps us shape these kind of events, particularly now that we're moving into a digital world and we need to look at different ways of connecting with our audiences. Love your feedback, let us know what you like, what you didn't like, what you want more of, what you want less of. We take that all into consideration when we mould these events for 2021 and into the future.

Chris Bombolas:

Just in closing, on behalf of the Electrical Safety Office, I'd just like to say thanks to our very special guest, Mat Rogers. Good luck with the book, Mat. Really appreciate you sharing and opening up to us and showing us the way to open up ourselves.

Mat Rogers:

No worries.

Chris Bombolas:

Thank you, good luck in the future.

Mat Rogers:

Pleasure.

Chris Bombolas:

We look forward to you joining us in future events. For you at home, thanks for joining us, or at work, we appreciate you joining us here and taking part in our webinar. We hope to see you in the very near future, but in the meantime, please stay safe, especially electrically.

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