Deadline draws near for new smoke alarm requirements

Deadline draws near for new smoke alarm requirements Requirements in Queensland for hardwired interconnected smoke alarms in residential settings are broadening from 2022. Since January 2017 it has been mandatory to include interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms for new home builds and substantial renovations in Queensland. From 1 January 2022, all homes being sold, being leased or having their lease renewed must have hardwired photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms installed in every bedroom, in connecting hallways and on each storey. From 1 January 2027, this requirement will apply to all homes. WorkSafe Queensland advises that there is likely to be a spike in demand for electric contractors to install and upgrade ionisation smoke alarms to photoelectric versions as the deadline draws nearer. Electrical contractors are being urged

ETU Apprentice of the Year crowned

ETU Apprentice of the Year crowned Hannah Watts has been crowned the 2020 ETU Apprentice of the Year, in an extraordinary line-up of all-female finalists. The award was presented at the ETU QLD & NT Branch by State Secretary Peter Ong. Watts, who recently completed her apprenticeship as an electrotechnology electrician, was selected for her leadership qualities and dedication to both the trade and the union. She has continuously stood up for the rights of apprentices, her fellow workers and women throughout her apprenticeship. As an apprentice delegate, Watts challenged and won the right for all apprentices on site at her company to attend college instead of completing modules at work without the help of a teacher. Her actions inspired apprentices at other

New campaign to reduce risky electrical work

New campaign to reduce risky electrical work Ensuring electricians are operating safely is part of a new NSW Government compliance campaign targeting electrical safety on construction sites. Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson says SafeWork NSW inspectors will be conducting drop-in inspections across a range of sites for the remainder of 2020, checking that the right controls are in place to manage electrical risks. “This campaign is part of our mission to eradicate serious and potentially fatal injuries in the industry,” Anderson said. “Our inspectors will be turning up on sites across the state to make sure all the right measures are in place to protect both the sparkies and those working with them.” Inspectors will be focusing on ensuring workers maintain appropriate distances from

Construction companies struggle to keep up with regulations

Construction companies struggle to keep up with regulations A recent Australian construction industry poll has found that keeping up to date with regulations is the most challenging part of quality and safety compliance for most (74%) companies. The poll was commissioned by Procore and conducted by ACA Research. According to the survey, the OFSC COVID-19 accreditation for Commonwealth Government-funded construction projects is a key priority in 2020, yet just 31% of survey respondents have implemented compliance with the scheme. Respondents also identified a number of areas as being complex aspects to compliance including: capturing the necessary data consistently (73%); reporting (71%); designing ISO-compliant processes (71%); and building a compliant folder structure (71%) as the most complex aspects of complying with ISO Standards. Data

New approach to remote knowledge sharing

New approach to remote knowledge sharing Engineering consulting firm Easy Skill has partnered with HINDSITE Industries in a move both companies say will change the way the industry communicates technical knowledge, delivering a new wearable remote mentoring and knowledge management solution. Handling knowledge sharing is a universal challenge for technical hands-on professional roles in essential industries. Many organisations continue to rely on centralised in-office classroom training in the absence of a better alternative, but this method is not without inherent problems. The vast difference between in-classroom and in-field conditions make recall and practical application flawed once field staff return to remote locations. Access to training resources and documentation, including manuals and knowledge updates, can also be delayed. Blending wearable devices with an intelligent

Behind-the-meter solar installation delivers

Behind-the-meter solar installation delivers One of Australia’s largest food and beverage manufacturers has realised the beginning of its solar and battery journey, signalling a commitment to sustainability, thanks to a new solar and battery installation at its Shepparton, Victoria, site. The 3.8 MW solar and 500 kW/1250 kW battery project at Freedom Foods Group (FFG) was installed by AEES Group, partnering with FIMER for project design, delivery, installation and commissioning. A high-voltage (HV) site, the Shepparton site feeds its solar generation into three HV skids via FIMER’s 1500V PVS-175 string inverters, connected into the site’s HV transformers. This project was the first in Australia to employ FIMER’s largest string inverters.  Built over three stages and completed in February 2020, the project features a total of

Improving data centre sustainability

Improving data centre sustainability Honeywell is working together with Vertiv to create integrated solutions that optimise data centre sustainability, resiliency and operational performance. The partnership builds on Honeywell’s building management systems (BMS), operational software, and safety and security products — along with Vertiv’s uninterruptible power supply (UPS), power distribution, thermal management, infrastructure monitoring and modular solutions — to enable operators of hyperscale, large enterprise, co-location and edge data centres to integrate multiple domains of data within a data centre. The companies will leverage building-operations data to drive optimisation of operations, reducing energy use and costs while improving data centre performance and sustainability. “Data centres face similar challenges as other buildings that have disparate systems that were not designed to work together, but they experience

The distribution board for Australian industry

The distribution board for Australian industry APS Industrial is proud to have released a complete family of ‘DB’ distribution boards that are custom designed for the demands of Australian industry and feature world-class technology and innovation. The ‘DB family’ of competitively priced distribution boards are exclusive to APS Industrial and purpose-built for compatibility with Siemens circuit breakers. Within the APS DB family of distribution boards there are three models to ensure your application requirements are met — no matter how big or small. “The APS Industrial distribution board portfolio will offer unparalleled flexibility and feature the best the market has to offer in technology and components. What we have done is really looked at best practices of distribution boards that are in the

WorkSafe blitz as businesses reopen

WorkSafe blitz as businesses reopen Inspectors from WorkSafe Victoria (WSV) will be out in force as the state opens up, ensuring employers are doing everything they can to protect their workers. WSV checks will include staff training and instruction on equipment use. Employers must also provide adequate supervision and instruction to all staff where work practices have changed and for any new staff that might be unfamiliar with the workplace. Every WorkSafe inspection now includes an assessment of COVID-19 preparedness to ensure businesses have social distancing, good hygiene practices and a COVID-safe work plan. WorkSafe Health and Safety Executive Director Julie Nielsen said employers have to remember all their health and safety obligations as businesses reopen. “Employers should take the time to review their health

Blacktown City Council doubles solar generation

Blacktown City Council doubles solar generation Blacktown City Council has doubled its solar generation capacity in what is claimed to be Australia’s largest rooftop solar power purchase agreement (PPA), with installation courtesy of commercial solar installer Solar Professionals. Completed in early October, the project comprises 1876 Risen Energy panels located across 16 separate sites — including leisure and aquatic centres, libraries, childcare facilities and community centres — and is a first of its kind for local government in Australia, whereby the system is paid for, installed and operated by a single solar provider. The 707 kW project will contribute to the reduction of Blacktown City Council’s electricity use by nearly 3% per year, and its power bill by $170,000 per year. Blacktown City Mayor