Keep up to date with EGT and industry related news.

Latest news items can be found below. Archives are listed under year and month in the menu.

Look Twice, Act Once - Winter Special Part 2: Stay Warm!

Published on: Friday, 22 July 2022

Winter can be a cold, wet, and miserable time – especially for a country so used to sunshine and heat. So naturally, our clothing choices usually lean more toward the shorts and thongs, rather than the jumpers and fur-lined boots.

But, it is highly important you stay warm during winter – especially when working outdoors, or on worksites which may be open to the elements. So here are our hot tips for staying warm on the job!

  1. Layer up!

    Having multiple layers on, which are thinner, is a much better alternative then having two or three larger pieces of clothing on. You can also have great results by wearing thicker socks, and having an undershirt on will go a long way to help keep the heat in. Choose layers which can be easily removed or put on as the day goes by, to help regulate your temperature. If you’re working in a snowy region of Australia, thermals can be an option, but be aware that they may make you heat up and are difficult to cool down.
  2. Wool, not synthetic.

    We covered this in our previous post, but we want to reiterate it here. Wool will keep you warm when it’s wet, and will also naturally do a better job of keeping you warm than synthetic fibers. We know, wool can be expensive – but wearing undergarments like wool shirts or singlets can be a real life-saver on a cold, blustery day.
  3. Protect your head!

    You might have heard that a human loses a large percentage of its body head through the head. Whilst this isn’t true, what is true is that most people tend to rug up the rest of their body and ignore their head – therefore losing most of their heat through their head being cold. So a beanie, or a wool flat cap can go a long way during winter. And if you are wearing a helmet, remember to pick something which will fit under the helmet snugly.
  4. Handwarmers are a near must

    When your hands are cold, they’re far less dexterous. They also can lose some fine motor control, and can shake – potentially causing you at the least frustration, and at the most some fatal errors. Hand warmers – whether the be gloves under your work gloves, or physical hand-warming products which you can buy as a single-use item – can therefore be an absolute saviour during the dead of winter.
  5. Pack hot drinks

    Hot drinks like tea, coffee, or even just hot water can keep you going during a cold day. A thermos full of hot liquid to sip on throughout the day can not only give you a much-needed pep up on a cold morning, but can also keep you hydrated which is vital to keeping yourself healthy, your immune system boosted, and will actually keep you warmer in the colder months of the year.
  6. Know when to call it quits (for the day)

    It’s not worth being blown off a scaffold just to get that one last light socket in. When the weather is inclement, and you’re unsure if you should continue don’t be afraid to down tools to stay safe, stay warm, and stay dry. Remember, your SAFETY is the most important thing!

So there you have it – just a few ways to keep you warm during the winter months. And remember, staying warm isn’t about generating heat – it’s about keeping what heat you naturally have, in. So choose your clothing wisely, buy good quality garments, pack yourself some hot drinks, and keep those hands warm to ensure you can be as safe as you can be when exposed to the elements.

Q&A with the young guns of drifting

Published on: Monday, 18 July 2022

EGT has been a proud partner of Motorplex this year, supporting WA's best talent in drag racing, drift cars and more. EGT recently chatted to three up and coming drift car champions about their aspirations and what they love most about motorsports.

Kyle Carroll

Age: 15.

How long have you been drifting? 15 months.

What car do you drive? BMW E46 328ci.

What power plant/driveline/modifications make it a good drift car? Factory 2.8L engine making 180hp, tuned ECU, Hydro handbrake, Wisefab steering lock kit, BC Coilovers, Welded diff and custom braced rear subframe. Full roll cage, race seats and harnesses.

Why do you drift and what do you love about the sport? I drift because I’ve always watched my dad driving and have been around performance cars my whole life. I was always so eager to get behind the wheel myself and finally I was old enough to get involved!

I love the vibes and community which surround drifting. Every time we go to an event, everyone is always so willing to help and give me advice to develop my skills.

It makes for a very enjoyable time.

Casey Rowland

Age: 30.

How long have you been drifting? 4 years.

What car do you drive? Nissan Silvia S13.

What power plant/driveline/modifications make it a good drift car? RB25det (from skyline), Tr6060 6sp gearbox (from a Commodore) 620hp, pedders suspension, Wisefab Steering Lock kit, Drift Works rear suspension geometry kit, full rollcage, race seats and harnesses.

Why do you drift and what do you love about the sport? Personally the thrill of drifting and the natural drive to succeed and better myself as a driver is addictive!

No matter what’s going on in the world, or what problems life throws at you, when you find yourself at the track behind the wheel of your car it all disappears.

The people involved with drifting is what make it what it is. Once you’re geared up with a car and ready to race, the support you find within the community is astounding!

Jayden Highwood

Age: 28.

How long have you been drifting? 8 years.

What car do you drive? Nissan Silvia S13.

What power plant/driveline/modifications make it a good drift car? LS V8 and 6sp gearbox from a commodore, Nissan GTR rear suspension, differential & subframe. The car is equipped with a full roll cage, race seats and harnesses. Extensive tube work throughout the car to strengthen and lighten it at the same time. Wisefab steering lock kit.

Why do you drift and what do you love about the sport? Drifting is a way to unwind and escape the outside world. The people create the best atmosphere to be around with everyone at the track always buzzing at events. It really is a unique motorsport where everyone wants to help everyone else and just have a good time!

Look Twice, Act Once - Winter Special Pt. 1 - Slip Hazards

Published on: Friday, 15 July 2022

Welcome to our First winter special edition of Look Twice, Act Once!

We know that, like the height of summer, the dead of winter has its own hazards and dangers that come with it. Whilst the height of summer brings heat, sun, and hydration issues – the middle of winter brings with it cold, moisture, and slip hazards – amongst a host of others for you to consider.

So, let’s have a think about those over the next few weeks as we focus on a few safety hazards which are unique to the middle of the year.

This week, we are going to be talking about slip hazards and general wet hazards. So lets look at some ways to help you prevent injury when dealing with slip and wet hazards:

  1. Wipe your feet!

    Getting up early is a part and parcel of doing any job in the construction industry. But, as the months roll into winter, it gets not only harder to get up without the sun, but also easier to slip and slide on morning dew which is more prevalent during the winter months – or if you happen to live in a particularly cold area even ice can be a problem. Boots can slip out from under you, thanks to being wet or damp. If you’re on the ground, this might cause a sprain or a relatively minor injury – but if you’re on a roof or an elevated platform – this could potentially be far worse. So always try to wipe your boots and the surface you’re working on down if you can to prevent slipping and sliding.
  2. Keep your boots in check!

    One of the main causes of slipping is not just slippery surfaces, but also having old boots with worn soles. It’s much harder to slip when you’re wearing a new pair of boots due to the level of grip the soles provide as opposed to an old, worn pair. Remember, you can often get boots resoled as well, so if you happen to have a comfy pair of boots that you love – there’s no need to forgo all the breaking in you’ve done if you take them to a good cobbler.
  3. Drive carefully.

    Wet surfaces are not only a hazard for your feet, but also in the car as well. With wet, greasy roads being more common during winter, accidents often do go up and accidents are often also worse. Similar to your boots, make sure that the tread on your tyres is adequate, and that you are staying alert and driving to the conditions of the road. Remember, a speed limit is as fast as you can go – not how fast you must go, and slowing down during winter has proven to reduce accidents and collisions on our roads. And, use your lights – studies have shown that using your headlights in all weather reduces accidents substantially.
  4. Wear Warm(ing) Clothing!

    Admittedly, by world standards, our winters here are reasonably mild. It’s not exactly -40c and blizzarding regularly. That being said, some regions can be a ‘wet cold’ – meaning high humidity. This offers the same problem as a high humidity in summer does – air that tends to cling to you. In winter, this can be an issue if you’re not wearing enough layers, or enough warm clothing. And, this only compounds if you get wet. Synthetic products are not the best at keeping you warm when wet – but things like wool on the other hand, will. A windbreaker jacket is also a good option for particularly windy areas to keep the chill off you. Neckwarmers are also a cheap and good way to keep your neck warm, and beanies are good to keep your head warm – just remember to replace these with a hard hat if need be. And finally, if you do need to sit down – try to find a covering for the ground so you aren’t sitting directly on cold, wet ground.

So there you have it – a few ways to keep yourself warm and dry – and more importantly safe – in the cold wet months of winter. As always, if you see any hazards, please get in contact with your supervisor or boss and report them immediately.

Look Twice Act Once - Roof Spaces Part 4: Biohazards

Published on: Friday, 24 June 2022

Welcome to the final post for our Look Twice, Act Once campaign for June! Can you believe we are already half way through the year?

This week, we are completing our roof spaces month, and we are going to be talking about something which many people possibly don’t think of when entering a roof space. BioHazards.

Biohazards are any risk or contaminant that comes from a biological origin. Whilst these are usually bacterial, or viral in nature, they can come from a host of different sources. So we are going to explain how you can better avoid contamination.

Also, remember the age of the roof space will play a large factor in here. If you’re working on an older home from say the 1930s or 1950s, there is a higher chance that there might be contaminants in the roof space than a newly-built dwelling with all of the appropriate sarking, linings, and building code requirements. So bare this in mind when entering a space.

  1. Watch where you’re going!

    This one seems pretty obvious, but in roof spaces it can be difficult to see what you’re doing. They’re usually poorly lit, and the only source of light can be a torch or two. So it’s very important that you keep a keen eye out for any hazardous material – like animal droppings, mould, fibreglass, and other toxic materials which may be present.
  2. Use your Ears.

    If you can hear a cooing of a pigeon, or a hiss of a snake – chances are they might be in the roof space with you. The best way to identify this is to stop and listen, and keep the area as well lit as possible. Using all of your senses to stay alert is key to staying safe – not just in roof spaces, but everywhere.
  3. Wear proper PPE!

    We’ve said this before and it applies to just about every safety issue you can think of. Wearing proper PPE is key to staying safe. After all, putting you hand in rat droppings with a glove on is nowhere near as bad as doing so without gloved hands. It also means if there are other dangers such as spiders, snakes, or other creepy crawlies you’re less likely to be injured.
  4. If you don’t feel safe – get out.

    There’s nothing wrong with removing yourself form a situation which you feel might be unsafe. So, if at any time you feel unsafe, remove yourself from the situation and exit the roof safely and carefully. If you happen to notice any wildlife living in the roof space, immediately inform your tradesperson or supervisor.

And that’s about it! There are a million things in a roof space that can potentially go wrong – but if you keep to the basic rules which you have learned, and add a few additional layers of protection in as well, you will go a long way to keeping yourself safe.

Look Twice Act Once - Roof Space Part 3 - Airborne Contaminents

Published on: Friday, 17 June 2022

Welcome back to Week three of our Look Twice, Act Once campaign on Roof Space, and how to stay safe in them. So far we’ve looked at unstable ceilings, and what appropriate clothing to wear in a roof space. Now, we are going to look at Airborne Contaminants.

Invisible airborne contaminants in roofspaces can pose serious health risks. And they can range from building dust, silica dust, CO2, and even asbestos.

They can also be a result of disturbing other hazardous material like droppings from rodents or other fauna.

These are a key reason as to why it is highly important to wear a mask at all times when in roof spaces. But there are also a few other things you can do to ensure that you’re as safe as you can be whilst in a confined roof space.

  1. Take regular breaks, and keep the manholes and access points open

    When you’re in a roof space, it’s not only heat that you’re exposed to. If you minimise your overall exposure time, this could help you avoid major issues later on down the track, and fresh air is always welcome!
  2. Check your mask is fitted properly and has good filter life

    If you’re working in an enclosed, dusty environment it’s critical your mask is fitted properly. At a minimum you should be using an n95 mask – but respirator-style masks are arguably better as the interchangeable filters will allow you to change your protection depending on the job you’re doing. Ensure there is a firm seal around the mask to your face, so you are actually breathing through the mask and not through cracks on the side. Also make sure your filters – if your mask has them – are clean and not blocked up.
  3. Watch what you’re disturbing!

    As you’re scuttling about in a roof space, sometimes It’s hard to have eyes everywhere – but it is quite important that you stay cognisant of where you are putting your feet and hands, and what you are disturbing. Sending large plumes of dust – or worse – into the air could be bad for your health (and that of your workmate). So watching what you’re moving and bumping is important!
  4. If you see something odd, get out!

    As we’ve mentioned before – if you notice something in the roof space that isn’t right and you don’t feel safe – get out. It’s much better to be overcautious then to be affected by something which could have been preventable. And remember, when you’re exiting the roof, make sure to watch where you’re putting your feet – especially going down the ladder!

So there you have it – a few ways to keep you safe from airborne contaminants whilst working in the roof! Next week we will be focussing on toxic and biological hazards, so stay tuned!

Look Twice, Act Once - Roof Spaces Month week 2 - Unstable Ceilings

Published on: Friday, 10 June 2022

Welcome to the second week of the Look Twice, Act Once campaign focussing on staying safe in roof-spaces. This week, we are going to look at something which many people probably know a little about – but still presents a massive safety risk factor – Unstable Ceilings.

Ceilings, and entering them, can form a large part of the life of an electrician. Whether you’re running cables, terminating connections, putting in lights, or data points, or even diagnosing a potential issue in a new build – you’ll likely find yourself walking around on a ceiling at some point of your career.

But what can be VERY dangerous is an unstable ceiling.

For starters, remember that a ceiling is essentially just plasterboard screwed to a joist. So, there is little-to-no strength in it – and it certainly won’t hold the weight of you if you step on it. But this isn’t what we mean by an unstable ceiling. What we mean, is a ceiling which may collapse.

Whilst this is uncommon, it is still salient to remember that it can occur. So to best protect yourself, we have come up with a few things you can look at and things to avoid doing to help reduce your risk whilst in the roof space.

  1. Inspect the ceiling before going up.

    It is vitally important you inspect your ceiling before heading into the roof space. This can often tell you if there are any issues before heading into the roof, as many major issues will have a symptom that will be easily noticeable from the ground level. Needless to say, if you see any of these symptoms, you must be extremely careful in the roof space.

    The Building Commission of WA issued a warning in 2020 regarding failing ceilings. These were mostly from homes build between 2005 and 2009, in which the ceilings ‘spontaneously collapsed’. They noted that there were a few early warning signs – which we would advise you look for as well from the ground floor looking up at the ceiling before you head into the roof. These include:
    1. Sagging or dropping of the ceiling
    2. Visual cracking in the ceiling
    3. Small circles or blisters (“Nail Pops”) on the ceiling – a sign the plasterboard may be coming away from the nails or screws.
  2. Always work in pairs

    When entering a confined space such as a roofspace, and doubly so when you’re working at heights, you should always work in a pair. This is so if something happens to yourself, or to the person you’re working with, one of you can seek assistance.
  3. Only walk on the Joists

    When you’re up in the ceiling, make sure you are only walking on the joists. This might be easier for some than others, so take your time and walk slowly and succinctly. There’s no prize for rushing to finish your work, or to get from one end of the roofspace to the other quicker than the other person up there – so take it easy. And whatever you do, don’t step on the ceiling itself!

    Additionally, take care to look out for and not step on any pipes or conduits. These can cause you to roll your ankle, slip, or trip – which could send you at the very least sprawling on the joists, or at worse through the ceiling.
  4. Keep your eyes open for anything broken

    If you’re in a trade, there’s a fairly good chance that you’re a good judge if something doesn’t look right. We are not saying here that you should diagnose the problem and suggest a fix – but you can probably look at something and tell it looks ‘off’. So, if you happen to see a rafter, or a joist, or a purlin – or whatever! – that doesn’t look right, then make sure you say something. There may be a break in a joist or a rafter, or they may have been affected by termites or Delignification. If you see this, it is a far safer option to exit the roof space and inform the owner/builder of your potential findings.

And that’s it! It’s not an exact science to not falling through a ceiling – the best thing you can do is not step on one. But we know that accidents happen, and if you happen to put your foot through a ceiling, then that’s fixable. If worse comes to worst, and you go through a ceiling, call 000 immediately. But if you follow our guide, and follow proper safety protocol, it’s likely you won’t have to make that call ever.