Rueben Barnes.
Rueben Barnes. Filefile

Govt considers implementing mandatory safety switches

TWO years after the inquest into a Rockhampton teen's death during the failed home insulation scheme, the government is still considering a coronial recommendation.

Rueben Barnes, 16, was electrocuted in the roof of a house in 2009 during the Rudd government's botched programs.

One of State Coroner Michael Barnes' recommendations in 2013, during the LNP's term, was that the Queensland Government urgently assess extending the mandatory fitting of residual current device safety switches.

During Parliament's estimates hearings on Monday, Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the government was considering how much it would cost to implement mandatory safety switches.

Deputy Director-General Simon Blackwood said the government had found Queensland had higher legislative requirements than most states relating to safety switches.

He also said new standards would be introduced nation-wide in 2017.

Mr Barnes also recommended Fair and Safe Work Queensland review the response of safety agencies and launch a public awareness campaign about electrocution risks in roof spaces.

Dr Blackwood said a six-week campaign encouraging people to add safety switches to their houses had recently finished.

He said the government decided to run the campaign, rather than implement mandatory switches, as many people were meeting required standards.


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