Weld Australia chief executive Geoff Crittenden believes nearly all states in Australia need to introduce better compliance regimes for the fabricated steel industry.
“There are ticking time bombs all over Australia,” Mr Crittenden said.
“I am desperately concerned somebody will die.
“There is absolutely no question, lives are at risk. The fundamental issue is there isn’t adequate regulation in most states in Australia.”
Authorities said the faulty Tullamarine sign was secured by a combination of metal bolts and welding.
Mr Crittenden said the amount of fabricated steel being imported from overseas and used for road infrastructure, including traffic signs, gantries and bridges, was increasing but often didn’t comply with Australian safety standards.
VicRoads said the steel used on the Tullamarine Freeway gantry was Australian.In 2005, about 5 per cent of all fabricated steel was imported from abroad, but the quantity had soared to about 30 per cent in the last decade, Mr Crittenden said.“The labour is cheap, the materials are cheaper, and there just isn’t the same safety compliance you’d get in Australia,” he said.Mr Crittenden said while NSW had already rolled out a welding safety control system overseen by the Roads and Maritime Services, Victoria and other states were lagging behind.
“There is a system designed to ensure that these things don’t happen,” he said.