ACRS NEWS – JUNE 2021
Integrate 2021 and Security Expo join forces
TWO EVENTS IN ONE
Visitor registration is now live and the show will be conducted with a proven and fully government compliant COVIDSafe event system.
Event Manager Soren Norgaard said it’s more important than ever for the industry to regroup, share new ideas and develop ways to help Australians live in a COVID-normal world.
“Last year really showed how important the AV industry has become to both the working lives and the home lives of Australians,” Norgaard said.
“There’s no doubt our industry will play a major role in rebuilding offices, homes, events, hospitals, schools and public spaces to respond to the challenges facing us all.
“In addition to safety requirements, there’s also been a major shift in how people want to work, study and live with the increasingly blurred lines between home and other commitments,” he said.
Integrate attracts renowned speakers from throughout Australia and the world, and the 2021 show will once again provide access to the best minds in the business. This year’s speakers include scientific futurist Associate Professor Dr Catherine Ball and one of the world’s most cited experts on artificial intelligence, digital transformation, ethics in technology and women in leadership, Dr Catriona Wallace.
The 2021 show will be more varied than ever and include traditional highlights and new additions to the program. Features of this year’s show include:
Convergence Conference : New to Integrate is the Convergence Conference on 23 July, highlighting common risks, challenges and solutions on both sides of the AV and security sectors, as well as emerging technologies, ethical considerations and innovations that will benefit both industries driving towards a smarter future.
Speaker Series : In 2021 the AVIXA and Integrate Education programs will combine to present a not-to-be-missed education stream. With an increased focus on AV technology and its importance in our ‘new normal’, this stream will combine essential training and latest AV insights and trends, and offer solutions to help attendees harness the power of AV.
CEDIA Training : Run by internationally recognised instructors, the CEDIA Training sessions are invaluable for any integrator or installer looking to ensure they keep up to date with industry certification and maintain their operational expertise.
Security Exhibition & Conference : The exciting new co-location of Integrate with the Security Exhibition & Conference offers a myriad of wider opportunities for exhibitors and visitors of both events.
Integrate will be deploying a thorough system to deliver COVIDSafe events which adhere to all government guidelines and restrictions.
To register go to: www.integrate-expo.com/register .
NBN Co records strong growth in activations, on track to achieve FY21 financial forecast
Performance summary for Q3 FY21 in the nine months to 31 March 2021:
- 11.9 million premises are Ready to Connect1 to the nbn™ network
· 8.1 million residential homes and businesses connected to the network, with an accelerated activations profile resulting in 835,000 new customers connecting to the nbn™ network since 30 June 2020
· Key performance metrics on track to meet FY21 Corporate Plan forecasts
· Total revenue of $3.5 billion, up 23 per cent on Q3 FY20, primarily due to strong growth in activations. On track to achieve FY21 total revenue forecast of $4.5 billion
· Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA), including subscriber costs of $0.9 billion, reflecting a $1.6 billion improvement on the corresponding nine-month period in FY20
· In April executed successful, inaugural US$2 billion (~$2.6 billion) bond issue in US capital markets. Including this new issuance, since March 2020, NBN Co has raised more than $12 billion in new debt, including $8.5 billion in private bank debt and $1.6 billion through five and ten-year domestic bonds. As outlined in its Corporate Plan 2021, NBN Co intends to refinance the remainder of its $16.5 billion debt facility from the Australian Government with private debt by 30 June 2024.
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Unresolved, a decade on: aging Infinity cable risk
Infinity cables, imported by Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd were recalled nationally back in 2013 after they failed electrical safety standards due to poor quality plastic insulation coating. A decade on, electrical contractors are again being asked to keep a look out for the aging cable due to the risks of electric shock or electrocution if cabling is disturbed.
Between 2010 and 2013, some 6,600 kms of cable was sold under the ‘INFINITY’ and ‘OLSENT’ brand names throughout Australia. To date, less than 3,000 kms of that cable has been remediated. As the cables age, so too does the risk of electrocution.
If you have installed the recalled Infinity cables, and have not yet remediated them or alerted someone to ensure the cables are remediated under the supplier’s recall, you must immediately remediate the cable, or you could be held liable for property damage, injuries or loss of life and also be prosecuted, fined or potentially lose your licence.
If you have not installed any recalled Infinity cables there is no need to take any action. However, you need to be able to identify the recalled cable and be aware of the potential safety risks of working on a site where infinity cable has been installed. Where you find any infinity cable you MUST advise both the owner and your state regulator.
What cables are included in the recall?
All Infinity TPS cable – all sizes and configurations of ‘Polymeric Insulated Electrical Cable and which is PVC Sheathed, PVC Insulated, Flat and Flexible Low Voltage Electrical Cable’ also commonly known as ‘TPS’ imported and sold by Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd
All Infinity Orange Round – all sizes and configurations of ‘Polymeric Insulated Electrical Cable and which is PVC Sheathed, PVC Insulated, Round and Flexible Low Voltage Electrical Cable’ also commonly known as ‘Orange Round’ imported and sold by Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd
How do I identify the cable?
All TPS and Orange Round Cable sold by Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd are branded with the words ‘Infinity’.
TPS – End view of cable
TPS -Cable marking and close-up of cable marking
Orange Round -three core end view of cable
Orange Round – five core end view of cable
Orange Round marking and close-up of cable marking
Where could I find these cables installed?
The TPS cables are used in all kinds of electrical wiring work. It is used in roof spaces, wall cavities and may at times be exposed on in some accessible locations of homes. The cables are also used in commercial and retail premises.
The Orange Round Cable is a durable cable that is generally used in industrial and commercial environments.
The ACCC has identified the following dates when Infinity cables may have been installed in homes and businesses across Australia:
NSW – 2010-2013
ACT – 2011-2013
Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia – 2012-2013
Tasmania – 2013
What are the safety issues?
The plastic coating insulation on the cable can become brittle when exposed to high temperatures over time. The cable can degrade through exposure to external heat such as if it is used in the roof of homes or in warmer parts of the country.
What could happen if the cable fails?
If these cables fail the internal wires will expose people and/or animals to live conductors potentially resulting in electrical shock or a fire.
Safety switches, if installed, along with other types of circuit protection will operate to shut off the circuit. Power will be cut off to that circuit.
Have there been any fires, accidents or incidents caused by this cable?
While NECA is not aware of any fires or incidents involving infinity cables, laboratory testing indicated that the cables could become brittle and perish from 2016 onwards.
Visit the ACCC website for more information on the recall – www.accc.gov.au/update/infinity-cable-recall-act-now-before-its-too-late
As jobs and businesses embrace digital technologies, growing Australia’s digital skills will be key for productivity now and into the future.
The Australian Government is embedding a focus on improving Australians’ digital skills within the education and training ecosystem, as well as creating more immediate learning options for reskilling and upskilling for in-demand jobs.
A snapshot of Industrial Manslaughter laws in Australia
Author: Peter Lamont, NECA Senior Policy Advisor, Director of ACRS and Member of the Electrical Safety Board, Queensland.
The recent introduction of Industrial Manslaughter laws in Western Australia has reignited debate across Australia around what is the most effective way to protect workers.
There are now Industrial Manslaughter laws in the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Victoria, Northern Territory and Western Australia. Other states are at different stages in considering such laws. New South Wales has rejected industrial manslaughter, but has boosted WHS laws by including an offence of gross negligence. In South Australia, the Greens introduced a private members Bill into Parliament in October 2020, while in Tasmania the opposition has called for industrial manslaughter laws and the government is considering them.
NECA has long advocated that industrial manslaughter laws are not required in WHS legislation as the relevant criminal codes of each state and territory already provide for manslaughter offences, which includes where there have been serious and reckless breaches of employer duties of care.
The ACT was the first jurisdiction to initiate industrial manslaughter laws back in 2003 but the ACT added its new law to the Crimes Act and required a prosecution to establish that an officer was reckless about causing serious harm to an employee and/or criminally negligent about causing the death of an employee. The offence carried maximum penalties of 20 years imprisonment and up to $1.6million in fines.
Queensland then became the first state to enact industrial manslaughter provisions into their WHS laws in 2017. This essentially followed the Dreamworld theme park tragedy. Prison sentences of up to 20 years and fines of up to $10 million are the maximum penalties under the Queensland legislation.
After ACT and Queensland enacted their legislation, a review on the effectiveness of national WHS laws was undertaken in 2018 by Marie Boland on behalf of Safe Work Australia and presented to the Council of Australian Governments. Ms Boland found that the national WHS laws were largely operating as intended but that there needed to be a new industrial manslaughter offence for instances of gross negligence.
Since this time Victoria, and the Northern Territory have enacted industrial manslaughter laws within their respective WHS acts. These laws have all followed similar provisions to those in the ACT and Queensland with regard to the tests for negligence and in penalties.
Most recently Western Australia has enacted industrial manslaughter provisions within its WHS Act, with these laws to come into effect sometime in late 2021 after the new laws are proclaimed. This is likely to be when the corresponding regulations have been drafted.
While NSW has resisted introducing specific industrial manslaughter laws into their WHS legislation, they have instead confirmed that a person can be prosecuted under the NSW Crimes Act, punishable by 25 years imprisonment and added gross negligence to the WHS laws with a maximum of a 5-year jail term.
To date, Queensland has been the first state to take a prosecution forward, when in June 2020 a Queensland employer in auto recycling business was found to have failed to address obvious risks posed in using mobile plant in the workplace after an employee was crushed by a forklift operated by an unlicensed driver. The business was found to have no safety systems in place, no traffic management plans and the two company Directors were found to have lied to investigators and police on how the incident occurred. The Judge considered that the two Directors knew of the risks to staff but consciously chose to ignore the risks. The court fined the business $3 million and sentenced the two Directors to 10 months imprisonment, but wholly suspended for 20 months.
It is likely that industrial manslaughter laws will, at some time in the future, exist in all states and territories. While NECA has advocated against these laws being introduced, NECA has consistently stated that good workplace health and safety practices are fundamental to our electrical and communications industry. Safety in the workplace is a priority for NECA given the potentially hazardous nature of our work. Dangers to our electrotechnology workers include exposure to live electricity, severe cuts from sharp edges, coming in contact with asbestos, slips, trips and falls and the risks from non-compliant building products.
So what can you do as contractors and directors in order to remove the risk of a fatality in your workplace and ensure you meet all your obligations to look after yourself and your workers.
There are a number of steps that you can take:
– Review all your workplace procedures and policies;
– Ensure all directors, managers and senior staff are aware of their obligations;
– Review your health and safety leadership culture;
– Identify all the risks and hazards in your work activities;
– Review all your incident procedures and responses;
– Make sure you have a suitable WHS safety management system in place to deal with all the risks and hazards; and
– Train all your employees on safe work practices and on your safety culture.
The best way to operate your business without needing to worry about industrial manslaughter laws is to have good business policies and practices, a strong workplace safety culture and a reliable safety management system.
Investing in a safety management system is a critical first step. These systems can be tailored to both the size of your business and the type of work activities you undertake. Choosing a system fully backed by competent and highly trained WHS staff is also key, particularly in a complex industry.
Below is a comparative table showing the status of Industrial Manslaughter laws across the country.
Comparative table by jurisdiction:
|State||Industrial Manslaughter laws||Commenced||Maximum Jail Time for Directors||Maximum Fines for Companies|
|Australian Capital Territory||Crimes Act 1900||2004||20 years||$1.6 million|
|New South Wales||No Industrial Manslaughter legislation|
|Queensland||Work Health and Safety Act 1995; Electrical Safety Act 2002||2018||20 years||$10 million|
|Northern Territory||Work Health and Safety Act 2011||2020||Life||$10.2 million|
|South Australia||No Industrial Manslaughter legislation|
|Tasmania||No Industrial Manslaughter legislation|
|Victoria||Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004||2019||25 years||$16.5 million|
|Western Australia||Work Health and Safety Act 2020||2021 – when proclaimed||20 years||$10 million|
Disclaimer: This summary is a guide only and is not legal advice