SafeWork NSW commences solar farm safety blitz
Inspectors from SafeWork NSW will be visiting large-scale solar farms in operation and solar farm construction sites across regional NSW, as part of a targeted safety campaign to ensure compliance. SafeWork NSW’s Executive Director of Compliance and Dispute Resolution, Tony Williams, said the relatively new industry and the scale of the projects creates additional challenges from often remote and isolated sites, as well as electrical wiring work undertaken. Williams noted that while SafeWork inspectors have already been undertaking site visits and responding to incidents on these solar farms, these inspections will help lift standards across the industry.
“We have seen some poor safety practices, including unsafe electrical wiring of site sheds and amenities; vehicles and plant roll over, hitting objects and contacting overhead powerlines; poor housekeeping practices; and lack of emergency planning for remote worker risks. With summer coming and ground temperatures looking to soar, employers must ensure they are planning for environmental risks as well as onsite plant, equipment, amenities and safety systems,” said Williams.
SafeWork inspectors will be on the ground, working with site owners, principal contractors and site supervisors to ensure the health and safety of regional workers who are building and servicing these sites. Williams added that SafeWork NSW will be working to ensure that there are appropriate systems and controls in place around work practices and general site conditions, and that operators are taking care to ensure that the work conditions they have in place guarantee the safety of everyone on site.
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