THERMAL IMAGING – STATE OF THE INDUSTRY SURVEY

The Australasian Thermographers Association (ATA) believes greater controls are needed when it comes to the use of thermal imaging devices. Do you agree? Have your say in the industry survey. 

Thermal cameras have become an increasingly popular tool used by pest managers, particularly in termite inspections.

However, the quality of the cameras being used and the differing skill levels of the users, means the images obtained and their subsequent interpretation and recommendations, can vary significantly.

These user issues are not specific to pest managers, with concerns about unqualified operators prompting the Australasian Thermographers Association (ATA) to call for the urgent introduction of national competency standards and vocational qualifications for Australia’s thermal imaging industry.

The ATA has engaged an independent consultancy group to conduct a comprehensive scoping study into the industry, with the aim to provide in-depth insight into the current use of thermal imaging cameras and covering all industries, users and the diverse range of non-accredited courses.

The review, which is being overseen by the Haystack Group, will identify operators, industry sectors using thermal imaging, as well as the size and projected growth of the industry in Australia.

The ATA said the review will also aim to establish current skill sets across all thermographers, non-accredited training courses and the hazards and risks associated with thermography in a non-regulated industry.

Relevant industry bodies, government departments (both Federal and State) and regulatory bodies relevant to the thermal imaging industry, will also be approached to provide input into the scoping study.

Why is regulation required?

According to the ATA, thermal imaging is a rapidly emerging industry yet remains the only unregulated trade skill industry in Australia. Not only is the quality of work an issue, but safety considerations are a significant concern.

“The crossover of thermal imaging into multiple other regulated trade industries has created a hazardous environment that needs to be brought under control,” a spokesperson for the ATA said. “Left unregulated, a catastrophic event is inevitable.”

The ATA said that the inability to use thermal cameras due to a lack of skills, provides for poor interpretation of results that may lead to improper interpretations of thermograms.

National competency standards will provide for skilled thermographers and most importantly, will ultimately protect customers, providing them with a degree of assurance that they are receiving services from a trained professional.

Have your say!

The ATA is encouraging pest managers to contribute to the development of new competency standards by taking part in a survey and share their experiences with the thermal imaging industry. Learn more on the ATA website.