The focus that is being placed on air conditioning as a health & safety matter has escalated rapidly in the last two years. The COVID-19 pandemic and the need to improve ventilation in many spaces to ward against the disease has meant that air conditioning installations, repairs, and upgrades have been in demand like never before.
 
However, it’s also important to remember that the installation of air conditioning systems itself counts as high-risk construction work, and it’s important that anyone doing so is diligent with their air conditioning SWMS documents. Air conditioning SWMS (Safe Work Method Statements) will need to cover potential hazards, potentially including (but not limited to):
 
– The installation of evaporative air conditioners on roofs (including working from heights).
– Ductwork installation.
– Installing an inside air conditioner.
– Lifting ductwork onto a roof via a crane.
 
The reality is that no two air conditioning installations will be the same, so there cannot be a templated approach to the SWMS documentation, either. For each site, whether you’re working as a solo operator, in a team, or managing apprentices and trainees, you will need to write a new SWMS for each installation project.
 

Saving time with SWMS

It can be time consuming, and therefore expensive, to write up a brand-new SWMS from scratch for every new project. What can be templated is the foundations of the SWMS documentation, with the specifics filled out to accompany each individual site. By coming to a specialist like NECA, you can access a library of template SWMS documentation, including for air conditioning, that has been written by our legal and regulatory experts. That will save you a great deal of groundwork, and from there, that documentation can be customised for each site.
 

Is that all I need?

On the site, you will need more than the SWMS. The SWMS simply outlines the risks of the particular location, and from there you will need the right additional documentation and equipment to remain in compliance.
 
You will need permission and authorisation to work on a construction site (a white card). You will also need documentation to cover the handling of any hazardous chemicals brought on site or stored by you (this might also require separate and further SWMS documents to be completed). You will also need the relevant equipment for the site and/or any chemicals on-site, and a formalised emergency and reporting procedure that each person on your team is made aware of.
 
With many businesses and trades, once you’re working with more than five people on site, it is a good idea to engage with a health & safety specialist to ensure you’re fully in compliance, as the safety pack that you’ll need to complete per worksite becomes an increasingly complex job.
 

I need help understanding my requirements!
You can get all of your basic needs and information from the friendly team at NECA. As a member you have unlimited access to the library of SWMS documents as well as unlimited access to the WHS and Technical specialist teams via phone or email. The NECA team will audit your business and then or assist in ensuring you keep your business in compliance. Contact NECA member services today on 1300 361 099 or memberservices@neca.asn.au