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Environmental Sustainability Equates To Work Health Safety Standards

Posted by Robert O'Neill on Aug 19, 2014 9:06:00 PM
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thumb_depositphotos_26435913_mThere are things to consider in maintaining the well being of an individual and sustaining the environment. The health safety of suppliers, importers and installers of solar photo-voltaic (PV) panel industry created work safety measures relating to work health and well being.

Persons conducting a business or undertaking (known as "PCBUs") have no privilege of delegating their duties for work health and safety (WHS) as according to the harmonised work health and safety legislation. As far as practicality and reasonability is concerned, the duties of these personnel require to minimise or prevent work safety risks.

At the workplace, the manufacture, design, import or supply of solar panels that are used in plants, substances or structures are prone to work safety risks. So in effect, suppliers and importers of solar PV systems are responsible for issuing their customers or installers some guidelines on the proper use and installation of their products.

Compliance with applicable Australian Standards (such as AS/NZS 50330) ensures due diligence in the conduct of business. Through the provision of relevant product information to customers or installers, and not just simply guessing on any assumed product knowledge, proper due diligence is exercised and will discharge the supplier from further onerous obligations.

Installers of solar panels must ensure that the installation or construction of a solar PV system at a workplace is also free from risks to the health and safety of a person. At the very least, compliance with the codes of practice while labouring at heights should be set as priorities along with manual handling and falling objects.

Codes and relevant standards relating to electrical installation should be considered. Likewise, the physical environment and the prevailing climatic conditions will also be important factors in minimising the risk of an incident at a workplace.

The existing climatic conditions and the environment are key factors in minimising work safety risk at a workplace. Consider using codes and related standards to installing electrical systems.

Solar panel installers are the one who will conduct specific risk assessments of workplaces before they start their work in such work sites. PCBU are then required to document relevant policies and procedures just to certify that the PCBU has fully complied with duties of due diligence.

Onerous obligations will happen if the supplier is highly dependent on subcontracting. These competent installers with upstream duties may also be held liable for any found breaches of the policies on WHS where subcontractors that were not able to guide their workers and unable to prevent work safety risks as far as reasonability and enforceability are concerned.

Assurances from the subcontractor are not enough, due diligence means an officer is capable of supervising end to end. Detailed work safety management and risk assessment systems in place are necessary. The inability to comply in such due diligence may expose the PCBU and officers to being prone to onerous legal battles.

A fine of up to $3 million or five years imprisonment will be charged against the PCBU and officers should they fail to exercise due diligence. Seeking legal advice is necessary if the PCBU has any concerns on WHS duties.

The solar installation is not eligible to be included on the Clean Energy Council's approved roster of building modules if this will be found non-compliant of the Clean Energy Council (CEC) guidelines and Australian Standards (inclusive of AS/NZS 5033). Key changes to the Australian Standards and CEC guidelines for solar PV installations took effect last 16 July 2013 as according to the bulletin issued by Clean Energy Regulator.

Topics: Facilities and the Working Environment, Blog