Tough rules aim to close loopholes

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 May, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 May, 1995, 12:00am

TOUGH measures will be introduced by the end of the year to prevent a recurrence of the collapse.

The new laws were gazetted at the end of last month and cover the four key areas to emerge during the trial: Registration of examiners and contractors; Design and construction standards for lifts and hoists; Safety and maintenance inspections; and, Operator training.

Electrical and Mechanical Services Department assistant director Keith Whittle said the regulations would close all loopholes.

'Self-regulation in the industry clearly hasn't worked and we cannot rely on it any more,' he said.

Mr Whittle said the first aim was to list sufficient examiners and survey companies to create a pool.

As an initial step, the department has written to 40 individual engineers and 65 firms qualified to register.

He said engineers had also been warned about a key part of the legislation which allows a $200,000 fine and 12 months in prison if people are convicted of forging or using forged test or inspection certificates.

The department has allowed three months for professional engineers and inspection firms to register, but it hopes to shorten this period to about a month.

Registered examiners and firms must then ensure lifts and working platforms are serviced and properly maintained using stringent guidelines.

These insist lifts are properly installed and anchored, there are two overload sensors and there is an effective brake. Contractors will have to keep a log book detailing maintenance.

The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department will maintain a list of all the hoists and tower platforms being used and inspections must be carried out before the department will authorise their use.

Mr Whittle said there were about 80 hoists and tower platforms in the territory, including 54 on public housing projects.