Rail, Aviation and Transport

Rail, Aviation and Transport

RG EWP Safety Alert

Paul Lister - Thursday, October 03, 2013

ETU Members are advised to read the RG EWP safety alert listed below as issued by Ergon Energy (QLD) in relation to uncontrolled movement of an RG EWP.

Members should read this notice and take any necessary action to ensure workplace safety is maintained.

Redmond Gary MEWP HSE alert.

Public Warning - Infinity Brand Cable

Paul Lister - Thursday, October 03, 2013

On Friday 27 September the Fair Trading Commissioner issued a public warning against all Infinity branded TPS and orange round cable. A copy of the Public Warning press release and the Fair Trading Fact Sheet is attached for your information.

In August 2013, Fair Trading announced the voluntary recall by the company of three batches of Infinity brand TPS. Those were batches numbered INFH 190311, INFH 210912 and INFMEL 081112.

Fair Trading had continued to gather further samples of Infinity electrical cable and conducted further indicative testing of cable samples. The test results concluded there were deficiencies in the manufacturing of the cable and as a result, Fair Trading has concerns regarding the safety of all Infinity branded TPS and orange round cable.

Infinity was recently notified of Fair Trading*s growing concern about all of Infinity*s flat TPS and orange round electrical cable and had discussed the possibility of a wider recall.
However, on 27 September 2013, Fair Trading became aware that the company had initiated action to wind-up the company. In the absence of a formal recall Fair Trading is issuing this public warning to ensure that consumers and electricians are aware of the safety risks of the cables and no further cable is purchased or installed.

Fair Trading's advice to traders and consumers is that unused Infinity cables should be returned to the place of purchase by electricians, where they will be entitled to refunds on any unused cabling they have purchased. We are also advising that consumers should not try to inspect the cable in their homes. Any work on wiring or cable should only be done by licensed electricians.

Further information is available on the Fair Trading website www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.

Anyone with questions or concerns regarding the Infinity electrical cables can also contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20.

ETU Automated External Defibrillators Report

Bruce Fan - Monday, September 16, 2013

The ETU NSW Branch have had the McKell institute write a report on the need for defibrillators on live electrical worksites (actually worksites in general) also included is a list on commonly asked questions.

The paper was written as a result of our 2013 conference discussion to campaign for Defibs. The ETU believes the report is comprehensive and argues a very strong case for the provision of defibrillators.

The paper is available to download below,

1. Common Questions About Automated External Defibrillators(AEDs)

2. AEDs on Australian worksites

ETU Secure Apprentice Wage Increases

Paul Lister - Monday, August 26, 2013

The ETU was instrumental in the recent decision by Fair Work Australia to award significant increases to apprentice award rates of pay. The decision handed down on Thursday 22 August was the culmination of months of hard work coordinated and run by the ETU National Office.

In summary the key points covering the Electrical Contracting Award include:

  • Junior First year rate with year 12  - increased from 40% to 55% of trade
  • Junior Second year rate with year 12 - 52% to 65% of trade
  • Junior Third and Fourth year rates - unchanged (70% and 82% of trade)
  • Adult First year rate - 80% of trade
  • Adult Second year rate - minimum wage
  • Adult Third & Fourth year rate - the higher of the minimum wage or the junior rate

This decision represents a 37.5% pay rise for first year apprentices with year 12 (the rate is set at 50% of trades for first year apprentices without year 12) and we now have adult apprentices rates permanently and nationally.

Due to the size of these increases, there will be a 2 year phasing in period.

A copy of the full decision is available here.

Electrical Licence Update

Paul Lister - Monday, August 26, 2013

The CEPU has raised serious concerns over proposed changes to electrical licenses with the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

After hearing the CEPU's concerns the PM has written to the union and advised that his Government will not agree to any National Occupational Licensing reform that dilutes existing electrical, plumbing, mechanical, refrigeration, or fire protection services licenses that may compromise community safety and consumer protection.

In his letter Prime Minister Rudd goes on to say that the Government will only proceed with there is agreement reached with all stake holders including the CEPU, employer associations and industry skills councils.

You can read the full letter here.

Product Recall - Faulty Electrical Cables

Paul Lister - Monday, August 26, 2013

NSW Fair Trading has negotiated with the Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd for the recall of three batches of *Infinity* brand insulated electrical cables. The cables are Thermoplastic Sheathed electric cable - commonly known as TPS.

The specific cable is 2.5mm "Polymeric Insulated Electrical Cable which is PVC Sheathed, PVC Insulated, Flat and Flexible Low Voltage Electrical Cable" also commonly known as "TPS 2.5mm Twin and Earth" (ThermoPlastic Sheathed Electrical Cable, active, neutral and earth). The batch numbers being recalled are INFH 190311, INFH 210912 and INFMEL 081112.

The cables that are the subject of the recall have been subjected to laboratory testing commissioned by NSW Fair Trading and conducted by TUV Rheinland in Victoria. The sample submitted for testing by NSW Fair Trading failed the commissioned tests against AS/NZ 5000.2:2006 and relevant parts of AS/NZ 3808. The testing failure indicates that the plastic coating insulation on the cable can become brittle when exposed to high temperatures over time whether through exposure to heat generated by the copper wire itself or through exposure to external heat such as if it is used in the roof of homes in warmer parts of NSW.

Information provided to Fair Trading is that the product has been stocked in NSW for about one year.  NSW Fair Trading has been in contact with electrical safety regulators around Australia and advised them of the concerns regarding this cable. NSW Fair Trading believes that the cable may also be sold in other States and Territories. Fair Trading has no information that any incidents or injuries to people or property has resulted from the cable. However, given the cable batches have failed essential safety tests the recall is needed to prevent possible future problems.  

The company is publishing recall notices in newspapers and writing to everyone they have sold the cable to requesting them to return the recalled batches of cable to the place of sale.The company has agreed to provide information to Fair Trading concerning the importation and sale of the recalled batches of cable and to provide ongoing reports to Fair Trading of the recall and disposal of the affected cables.

Fair Trading will be issuing a media release regarding the recall in addition to the company*s own recall notices. Our advice will of course be that consumers should not try to inspect the cable and that any work on wiring or cable should only be done by licensed electricians. We will also recommend to consumers that if they have recently had building work done, or wiring changed or installed, they should contact the responsible builder or electrician for advice on whether the recalled cable was used. If it was, we will recommend that they talk to the builder or electrician about getting the cable inspected and replaced.

It would be appreciated if you could make your members and stakeholders aware of this recall through your own communication channels and networks. The formal information that you could direct people towards will be on the Fair Trading website www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.

Consultation Roadshow Major Works (Renewals) Division

Paul Lister - Tuesday, July 23, 2013

ETU members working at Sydney Trains/NSW Trains in the Major Works (Renewals) division should view the attached timetable outlining road show details commencing 22 July 2013.

Asbestos in the Rail Industry

Paul Lister - Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Members would be aware that the ETU has had an ongoing campaign for the eradication of asbestos across all industries.

The Union has also agitated for proper training delivery to our members that have the possibility of encountering asbestos in the workplace.

Following ongoing representations to Sydney Trains the ETU can advise all members they will receive Asbestos Awareness Training in the not to distant future. This was confirmed when the ETU met with Mr Gavin Campbell from Sydney Trains last week.

The union is of the view this training must be delivered as a face to face course and not as an online training module, any plans to role out training online will be opposed by the ETU.

In the meantime we remind all members that they should not work with any asbestos containing material unless they have the appropriate qualifications and approved Personal Protective Equipment.

The training will be provided to all employees regardless of any previous asbestos training.

Roads & Maritime Services Asbestos Update

Paul Lister - Thursday, June 27, 2013

Further to our notice of 4 June, the ETU has meet with the Group General Manager of Work Health Safety and Group General Manager Fleet Services regarding the issue of Asbestos located at worksites within the RMS traffic signals and bridge services divisions.

RMS have confirmed to the union that there is currently no centralised asbestos register that covers traffic signals. Failure to have such a register is a serious breach of section 425 of the WHS regulations which require RMS to maintain such a register.

The ETU considers this to be extremely serious and we have notified RMS that should this issues not be resolved that the union will consider all legal and industrial options.

RMS has advised the ETU that while a central register does not currently exist they do have some local asbestos registers located at RMS properties and Bridge sites.

In addition to the lack of a centralised asbestos register, RMS have also failed to provide the necessary asbestos identification and handling training to their employees which is unacceptable.

In light of this very serious situation the ETU has requested that RMS notify the union in writing that they agree to the following points:

  • Immediately conduct an organisation wide audit on the location of asbestos and create a centralised asbestos register in accordance with their obligations under Law.
  • Immediately deliver acceptable face to face training on the identification and handling of asbestos to all employees that may reasonable come into contact with asbestos in their ordinary work environments.
  • Provide all employees with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, that being a P2 mask or better, asbestos proof disposable overalls, gloves and shoe coverings and protective eye wear.
  • Introduce a health monitoring program for RMS staff in the traffic signals and bridge services divisions to be conducted by the NSW Dust Diseases Board Lung Bus.

Until the above has been agreed to and implemented the ETU instructs all members not to work on or near what may be consider as asbestos containing material.

If any member is unsure or has any questions they should contact their workplace delegate or ETU organiser for further information. Once the union has heard from RMS in writing we will provide a further update to members on the ongoing nature of the above work restrictions.

CEPU/ETU 2012 Financial Accounts

Paul Lister - Tuesday, June 18, 2013

In accordance with the requirements of the Fair Work Registered Organisation Act 2009 and the Industrial Relations Act 1996 the CEPU NSW Branch and ETU NSW Branch has made available to members the complete financial reports and associated documents for 2012.

By law the CEPU must provide a copy of their financial report free of charge to members, this can be downloaded here.


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