New rules for Queensland solar farms

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The Government of Queensland is set to introduce a new code of practice and electrical safety regulations in May to improve safety in the growing commercial solar farm industry.

The Construction and operation of solar farms Code of Practice 2019 comes into effect on 13 May 2019.

The new regulations mean only licensed electricians can mount, locate, fix or remove solar panels at solar farms.

During the consultation process, stakeholders raised concerns about unlicensed workers mounting and removing live solar panels.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the Construction and operation of solar farms Code of Practice 2019 and the Electrical Safety (Solar Farms) Amendment Regulation 2019 takes effect on 13 May and will cover all Queensland solar farms.

“These new regulations are all about ensuring we keep pace with new and emerging technologies and keep workers safe,” Ms Grace said.

“Solar panels generate power as soon as they are exposed to light and cannot be isolated while they are being mounted.

“Workers are at risk from electrocution and fires if solar panels are not properly earthed during installation.

“Removing panels can be even more dangerous. These are not jobs for unlicensed workers.”

“The code of practice provides guidance to ensure safety at solar farms throughout their life cycle, including design, construction, operation and maintenance, and de-commissioning,” Workplace Health and Safety Queensland said.

“The code consolidates existing electrical and work health and safety requirements for solar farms. It includes information on what does, and does not, constitute electrical work and how designers, constructors, and operators can comply with their existing safety duties.”

For more details about the new code of practice and electrical safety regulation visit electricalsafety.qld.gov.au.

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