This issue, we cover topics including tips for your customers to spring into the season safely and an update from our Building Business Expos.

As always, your input is encouraged to help shape future issues - simply email your feedback to foundations@finance.nsw.gov.au

On the road with Building Expos

A special acknowledgement to the hundreds of attendees at our recent Building Business Expos, who came away with the latest information on home building issues to support their business.

We thought you put it best, so here are some insights from participants who came along: 

“The information and the speakers were all fantastic, engaging and all really relevant to the building Industry and to me trying to establish my small construction business.” 

“It was really good to see speakers from all the different areas such as legal, accounting, details about legislative changes, insurance and general business skills and their presentations were very informative.”

If you have missed out, there are Building Business Expos coming up in Campbelltown and Kiama. Find out more and secure your booking for an Expo near you our Events register

Fair Trading officers at a recent Newcastle Expo with attendees 
Above: Fair Trading officers at the Newcastle Expo with Shane and Kyleigh Oberekar of SHANE OBEREKAR Building Pty Ltd.

Back to top

Brush up on gas safety checks

Many tradies would know that outdoor gas gear lying dormant over Winter could be dangerous! Yet your customers may be unaware of safety checks to complete before their next family BBQ. 

Sharing the following tips with your customers should help reinforce the good impression of the service you provide.

Your customers should:

  • Look for the test marks on gas cylinders – no test mark means the product could be lethal, and can’t be legally filled in NSW. If you buy a cylinder without a current legible test mark, it must be inspected at a certified gas cylinder test station and stamped with a test mark.
  • Turn off gas cylinder valves before disconnecting bottles.
  • Keep the area around any BBQ or cooker free of loose debris.
  • Read manufacturers’ advice before using gas cylinders.
  • Keep cylinders cool and away from flames at all times, including cigarettes.
  • Transport cylinders securely and in an upright position.
  • Check for wear and tear, including leaks on gas connections, and frayed leads and damaged plugs. Check for leaks with the ‘soapy water’ test: mix up some soapy water, turn the gas on, wet the hose and connections. Where there are bubbles, there is a leak.

They should not:

  • Use a cylinder more than 10 years old.
  • Leave LPG cylinders indoors or in small spaces.
  • Use a gas BBQ in really windy weather, which risks a gas leak or explosion.

Our Gas safety page has further important advice for consumers.

Back to top

Home building law reforms explained

NSW Fair Trading recently completed public consultation for a new draft Home Building Regulation. This new Regulation will provide the necessary detail that will allow recent changes to home building laws to commence.

We are now considering the feedback that we received before finalising the draft Regulation and determining when the new laws should commence.

Get an update on coming changes for your industry at our Major changes to home building laws page.

Back to top

Infinity cables recalled

You may have been alerted by media coverage or our social media posts on the national Infinity electrical cable recall on 27 August 2014.

Infinity Electrical cables failed electrical safety standards due to poor quality plastic insulation coating.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recall of Infinity-branded cables relates to all sizes and configurations of white TPS and Orange Round infinity mains power cables. Olsent power cables sourced from Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd are also affected. It covers 18 national suppliers responsible for 85% of all cables sold in Australia.

Householders and businesses that have had electrical wiring work carried out in the last few years should contact the responsible contractor, or a licensed electrician to confirm whether Infinity cables were used. More information is available at ACCC – Infinity electrical cable recall, including Frequently Asked Questions. You can also read our media release NSW backs national recall.   

Back to top

Electricals - are you using the right goods?

Unapproved electrical products may not meet required Australian Standards and can be dangerous. Thankfully you can check that particular appliances have gone through the necessary checks and testing. Refresh your knowledge at our Safety labels for electrical goods page – it could well save your life!  

Back to top

Reminder: Get confident with MyInspections online services - attend a seminar  

If you’re a plumber, drainer or builder in the Sydney, Blue Mountains, Illawarra or Newcastle region, secure your seat at an upcoming MyInspections info seminar. The new online system has been rolled out to make paying plumbing and drainage audit inspection fees and submitting forms easier.

Don’t leave it too late to get up-to-speed with the new system, as QuickCheck agents can no longer accept payment for a plumbing and drainage audit inspection after 31 December 2014.

Visit our Events register to book in for a free seminar near you (Sydney metro, Blue Mountains, Illawarra and Central Coast regions). For enquiries email piasstrategy@finance.nsw.gov.au plus find out more about MyInspections at our MyInspections page.

Back to top

Gasfitters - Certificate of Compliance  

Gasfitters and autogas mechanics are required to provide Fair Trading a copy of any certificate of inspection or certificate of compliance completed following any gas-fitting or autogas work. Forms, as well as instructions on how to use and lodge the forms are available on the Gasfitters page on the Fair Trading website.

Gasfitters requiring assistance regarding any gas-related matters are urged to email their enquiries to NSW Fair Trading at GasSafety@services.nsw.gov.au

Back to top

Keep kids safe from dangling blind cords

Tragically, 1-2 Australian children die from blind cord strangulation each year (see Blinds and Curtains - Product Safety Australia). Earlier this year, Fair Trading partnered with Kidsafe NSW in a public awareness campaign. 

When children are in your home, follow these steps to make your place safer:
  • Check all blind and curtain cords are away from children’s reach and climbable objects 
  • Make cords safer by securing hanging, looped cords with a blind cord safety device
  • All new blinds and cords should have warning labels
  • Insist on safety features when purchasing made-to-measure blinds or curtains
  • Consult your local hardware or blind supplier about installing a blind cord safety device suited to your type of blinds.

If you are a parent or carer of young children, find out about Fair Trading’s blind cord safety device giveaway at our Blinds and curtains page.

Blind cord safety message with child in cot   Above: Move furniture and climable objects away from blind cords and install a blind cord safety device to keep kids safe.

Back to top

Alerting dads to DIY dangers 

Have you been called in to clean up someone’s DIY job gone wrong?

A DIY challenge may seem attractive but around 1300 men end up in hospital each year across Australia due to ladder injuries alone.

With Father's Day earlier this month and dads receiving gifts of new tools to try out, NSW Fair Trading joined consumer protection agencies to promote the ‘Don’t be a tool’ initiative nationally. It has urged consumers to take care when working around the home or under a vehicle and emphasised that some jobs are best left to a qualified, licensed tradesperson.

‘Don’t be a jackass’ was another strong campaign message, highlighting the dangers of getting under a vehicle only supported by a jack. There are around 160 reports each year of amputation, fractures and crush injuries associated with vehicle jacks.

Find out more on at our Stay safe with DIY work page or read the media release: Don’t be a tool - Tips to stay safe with DIY.

Using ladders a DIY danger
Above: Fair Trading is running a DIY safety campaign throughout September to warn consumers about common hazards.

Back to top

Make healthy, productive staff a must

Prioritise your workplace health by checking out the NSW Government ‘Get Healthy at Work’ initiative. The site will help you isolate the biggest challenges for your workplace and make changes for the better. There are information sections tailored to workers and businesses respectively. Take action towards a healthier workplace to benefit you and your team at Get Healthy at Work.  

Back to top

Mark your diary

Take advantage of these events. For details and to book, go to our Events register.    

  • Free NSW Fair Trading Home Building Expos.
  • Free MyInspections seminars to help drainers and plumbers using the new online payment and service gateway.
  • Home Building CPD session in Tamworth.

Back to top