Rueben Barnes
Rueben Barnes Supplied

Insulation makers safety rules

FOIL insulation manufacturers have released a comprehensive set of safety procedures after the deaths of two youngsters including 16-year-old Rockhampton worker Rueben Barnes.

The guidelines have been developed by the Aluminium Foil Insulation Association (AFIA) to help installers understand how to achieve a safe work environment in roofs.

AFIA vice-president Michel Bostrom said the guidelines were designed to meet the standards recently announced by the Federal Government.

“The explosion in demand for insulation products caused by the Federal Government rebate has obviously brought a high number of new workers into the industry,” he said.

“Indeed, that’s what the scheme was intended to do.

“However, this has created an environment where young and inexperienced workers have been sent into roof spaces, often with little or no understanding of the associated dangers.”

Mr Bostrom said although foil manufacturers were not directly involved in installing the product in roof spaces, they felt a significant responsibility to ensure worker safety.

He said the new AFIA procedures would include a mandatory hazard management checklist, general electrical safety procedures, advice for working near cables, instructions for halogen downlights and ceiling fans, and appropriate information about clothing and tools.

Mr Bostrom said while no work environment could ever be guaranteed 100% safe, the new AFIA guidelines would minimise as many risks as possible.

Master Electricians Australia chief Malcolm Richards welcomed the procedures as offering the greatest possible protection to installers.

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