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Contents (2011 - 674)
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Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011
Repealed version for 1 July 2017 to 31 August 2017 (accessed 22 September 2017 at 14:29)
Chapter 4 Part 4.7
Part 4.7 General electrical safety in workplaces and energised electrical work
Division 1 Preliminary
144   Meaning of “electrical equipment”
(1)  In this Part, electrical equipment means any apparatus, appliance, cable, conductor, fitting, insulator, material, meter or wire that:
(a)  is used for controlling, generating, supplying, transforming or transmitting electricity at a voltage greater than extra-low voltage, or
(b)  is operated by electricity at a voltage greater than extra-low voltage, or
(c)  is part of an electrical installation located in an area in which the atmosphere presents a risk to health and safety from fire or explosion, or
(d)  is, or is part of, an active impressed current cathodic protection system within the meaning of AS 2832.1:2004 (Cathodic protection of metals—Pipes and cables).
(2)  In this Part, electrical equipment does not include any apparatus, appliance, cable, conductor, fitting, insulator, material, meter or wire that is part of a motor vehicle if:
(a)  the equipment is part of a unit of the vehicle that provides propulsion for the vehicle, or
(b)  the electricity source for the equipment is a unit of the vehicle that provides propulsion for the vehicle.
(3)  In this clause, motor vehicle means a vehicle that is built to be propelled by a motor that forms part of the vehicle.
145   Meaning of “electrical installation”
(1)  In this Part, electrical installation means a group of items of electrical equipment that:
(a)  are permanently electrically connected together, and
(b)  can be supplied with electricity from the works of an electricity supply authority or from a generating source.
(2)  An item of electrical equipment may be part of more than 1 electrical installation.
(3)  In subclause (1) (a):
(a)  an item of electrical equipment connected to electricity by a plug and socket outlet is not permanently electrically connected, and
(b)  connection achieved through using works of an electricity supply authority is not a consideration in determining whether or not electrical equipment is electrically connected.
146   Meaning of “electrical work”
(1)  In this Part, electrical work means:
(a)  connecting electricity supply wiring to electrical equipment or disconnecting electricity supply wiring from electrical equipment, or
(b)  installing, removing, adding, testing, replacing, repairing, altering or maintaining electrical equipment or an electrical installation.
(2)  In this Part, electrical work does not include the following:
(a)  work that involves connecting electrical equipment to an electricity supply by means of a flexible cord plug and socket outlet,
(b)  work on a non-electrical component of electrical equipment, if the person carrying out the work is not exposed to an electrical risk,
Example.
 Painting electrical equipment covers and repairing hydraulic components of an electrical motor.
(c)  replacing electrical equipment or a component of electrical equipment if that task can be safely performed by a person who does not have expertise in carrying out electrical work,
Example.
 Replacing a fuse or a light bulb.
(d)  assembling, making, modifying or repairing electrical equipment as part of a manufacturing process,
(e)  building or repairing ducts, conduits or troughs, where electrical wiring is or will be installed if:
(i)  the ducts, conduits or troughs are not intended to be earthed, and
(ii)  the wiring is not energised, and
(iii)  the work is supervised by an authorised electrician,
(f)  locating or mounting electrical equipment, or fixing electrical equipment in place, if this task is not performed in relation to the connection of electrical equipment to an electricity supply,
(g)  assisting an authorised electrician to carry out electrical work if:
(i)  the assistant is directly supervised by the authorised electrician, and
(ii)  the assistance does not involve physical contact with any energised electrical equipment,
(h)  carrying out electrical work, other than work on energised electrical equipment, in order to meet eligibility requirements in relation to becoming an authorised electrician.
(3)  In this clause, authorised electrician means a person who is authorised under the Home Building Act 1989 to do electrical wiring work.
Division 2 General risk management
147   Risk management
A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must manage risks to health and safety associated with electrical risks at the workplace, in accordance with Part 3.1.
Example.
 Electrical risks associated with the design, construction, installation, protection, maintenance and testing of electrical equipment and electrical installations at a workplace.
Note.
 WHS Act—section 19 (see clause 9).
Division 3 Electrical equipment and electrical installations
148   Electrical equipment and electrical installations to which this Division applies
In this Division, a reference to electrical equipment or an electrical installation in relation to a person conducting a business or undertaking is a reference to electrical equipment or an electrical installation that is under the person’s management or control.
149   Unsafe electrical equipment
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must ensure that any unsafe electrical equipment at the workplace:
(a)  is disconnected (or isolated) from its electricity supply, and
(b)  once disconnected (or isolated):
(i)  is not reconnected until it is repaired or tested and found to be safe, or
(ii)  is replaced or permanently removed from use.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$3,600, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$18,000.
(2)  For the purposes of this clause, electrical equipment or a component of electrical equipment is unsafe if there are reasonable grounds for believing it to be unsafe.
150   Inspection and testing of electrical equipment
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must ensure that electrical equipment is regularly inspected and tested by a competent person if the electrical equipment is:
(a)  supplied with electricity through an electrical socket outlet, and
(b)  used in an environment in which the normal use of electrical equipment exposes the equipment to operating conditions that are likely to result in damage to the equipment or a reduction in its expected life span, including conditions that involve exposure to moisture, heat, vibration, mechanical damage, corrosive chemicals or dust.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$3,600, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$18,000.
(2)  In the case of electrical equipment that is new and unused at the workplace, the person conducting the business or undertaking:
(a)  is not required to comply with subclause (1), and
(b)  must ensure that the equipment is inspected for obvious damage before being used.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$3,600, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$18,000.
Note.
 However, electrical equipment that is unsafe must not be used (see clause 149).
(3)  The person must ensure that a record of any testing carried out under subclause (1) is kept until the electrical equipment is:
(a)  next tested, or
(b)  permanently removed from the workplace or disposed of.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$1,250, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$6,000.
(4)  The record of testing:
(a)  must specify the following:
(i)  the name of the person who carried out the testing,
(ii)  the date of the testing,
(iii)  the outcome of the testing,
(iv)  the date on which the next testing must be carried out, and
(b)  may be in the form of a tag attached to the electrical equipment tested.
151   Untested electrical equipment not to be used
A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that electrical equipment is not used if the equipment:
(a)  is required to be tested under clause 150, and
(b)  has not been tested.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$3,600, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$18,000.
Division 4 Electrical work on energised electrical equipment
152   Application of Division 4
This Division does not apply to work carried out:
(a)  by or on behalf of an electricity supply authority on the electrical equipment, including electric line-associated equipment, controlled or operated by the authority to generate, transform, transmit or supply electricity, or
(b)  by a person accredited to provide contestable services within the meaning of Part 3 of the Electricity Supply (Safety and Network Management) Regulation 2014, but only while the accredited person is providing the contestable services or carrying out other work authorised by an electricity supply authority.
153   Persons conducting a business or undertaking to which this Division applies
In this Division (except clauses 156, 159 and 160), a reference to a person conducting a business or undertaking in relation to electrical work is a reference to the person conducting the business or undertaking who is carrying out the electrical work.
154   Electrical work on energised electrical equipment—prohibited
Subject to this Division, a person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that electrical work is not carried out on electrical equipment while the equipment is energised.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
155   Duty to determine whether equipment is energised
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that, before electrical work is carried out on electrical equipment, the equipment is tested by a competent person to determine whether or not it is energised.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
Note.
 Clause 157 allows electrical testing to be carried out on electrical equipment for the purposes of this clause. Clause 161 sets out how the testing is to be carried out.
(2)  The person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that:
(a)  each exposed part is treated as energised until it is isolated and determined not to be energised, and
(b)  each high-voltage exposed part is earthed after being de-energised.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
156   De-energised equipment must not be inadvertently re-energised
A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that electrical equipment that has been de-energised to allow electrical work to be carried out on it is not inadvertently re-energised while the work is being carried out.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
157   Electrical work on energised electrical equipment—when permitted
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that electrical work on energised electrical equipment is not carried out unless:
(a)  it is necessary in the interests of health and safety that the electrical work is carried out on the equipment while the equipment is energised, or
Example.
 It may be necessary that life-saving equipment remain energised and operating while electrical work is carried out on the equipment.
(b)  it is necessary that the electrical equipment to be worked on is energised in order for the work to be carried out properly, or
(c)  it is necessary for the purposes of testing required under clause 155, or
(d)  there is no reasonable alternative means of carrying out the work.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
(2)  The electrical work that may be carried out under subclause (1) (a), (b) and (d) may include testing of the energised electrical equipment.
158   Preliminary steps
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure the following before electrical work on energised electrical equipment commences:
(a)  a risk assessment is conducted in relation to the proposed electrical work,
(b)  the area where the electrical work is to be carried out is clear of obstructions so as to allow for easy access and exit,
(c)  the point at which the electrical equipment can be disconnected or isolated from its electricity supply is:
(i)  clearly marked or labelled, and
(ii)  clear of obstructions so as to allow for easy access and exit by the worker who is to carry out the electrical work or any other competent person, and
(iii)  capable of being operated quickly,
(d)  the person authorises the electrical work after consulting with the person with management or control of the workplace.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
(2)  For the purposes of subclause (1) (a), the risk assessment must be:
(a)  conducted by a competent person, and
(b)  recorded.
Note.
 Clause 12 permits risk assessments to be conducted, in certain circumstances, in relation to a class of hazards, tasks, things or circumstances.
(3)  Subclause (1) (c) does not apply to electrical work on electrical equipment if:
(a)  the work is to be carried out on the supply side of the main switch on the main switchboard for the equipment, and
(b)  the point at which the equipment can be disconnected from its electricity supply is not reasonably accessible from the work location.
159   Unauthorised access to equipment being worked on
A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that only persons authorised by the person conducting the business or undertaking enter the immediate area in which electrical work on energised electrical equipment is being carried out.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
160   Contact with equipment being worked on
A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that, while electrical work is being carried out on energised electrical equipment, all persons are prevented from creating an electrical risk by inadvertently making contact with an exposed energised component of the equipment.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
161   How the work is to be carried out
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that electrical work on energised electrical equipment is carried out:
(a)  by a competent person who has tools, testing equipment and personal protective equipment that:
(i)  are suitable for the work, and
(ii)  have been properly tested, and
(iii)  are maintained in good working order, and
(b)  in accordance with a safe work method statement prepared for the work, and
(c)  subject to subclause (5), with a safety observer present who has the competence and qualifications specified in subclause (4).
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
(2)  The person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the person who carries out the electrical work uses the tools, testing equipment and personal protective equipment properly.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
(3)  For the purposes of subclause (1) (b), the safe work method statement must:
(a)  identify the electrical work, and
(b)  specify hazards associated with that electrical work and risks associated with those hazards, and
(c)  describe the measures to be implemented to control the risks, and
(d)  describe how the risk control measures are to be implemented, monitored and reviewed.
(4)  For the purposes of subclause (1) (c):
(a)  the safety observer must be competent:
(i)  to implement control measures in an emergency, and
(ii)  to rescue and resuscitate the worker who is carrying out the work, if necessary, and
(b)  the safety observer must have been assessed in the previous 12 months as competent to rescue and resuscitate a person.
(5)  A safety observer is not required if:
(a)  the work consists only of testing, and
(b)  the person conducting the business or undertaking has conducted a risk assessment under clause 158 (1) (a) that shows that there is no serious risk associated with the proposed work.
162   Record keeping
(1)  This clause applies if a person conducting a business or undertaking prepares:
(a)  a risk assessment under clause 158, or
(b)  a safe work method statement under clause 161.
(2)  Subject to subclause (3), the person must keep:
(a)  a copy of the risk assessment until at least 28 days after the work to which it relates is completed, and
(b)  a copy of the safe work method statement until the work to which it relates is completed.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$1,250, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$6,000.
(3)  If a notifiable incident occurs in connection with the work to which the assessment or statement relates, the person must keep the assessment or statement (as applicable) for at least 2 years after the incident occurs.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$1,250, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$6,000.
(4)  The person must ensure that, for the period for which the assessment or statement must be kept under this clause, a copy is readily accessible to any worker engaged by the person to carry out electrical work to which the assessment or statement relates.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$3,600, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$18,000.
(5)  The person must ensure that, for the period for which the assessment or statement must be kept under this clause, a copy is available for inspection under the Act.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$1,250, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$6,000.
Division 5 Electrical equipment and installations and construction work—additional duties
163   Duty of person conducting business or undertaking
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking that includes the carrying out of construction work must comply with AS/NZS 3012:2010 (Electrical installations—Construction and demolition sites).
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
(2)  For the purposes of subclause (1), AS/NZS 3012:2010 (Electrical installations—Construction and demolition sites) applies as if any term that is defined in that Standard and that is also defined in the Act or this Regulation has the same meaning as it has in the Act or this Regulation.
(3)  If any requirement in AS/NZS 3012:2010 (Electrical installations—Construction and demolition sites) deals with the same matter as a requirement under this Part, it is sufficient that the person conducting the business or undertaking complies with the requirement in AS/NZS 3012:2010 as modified by subclause (2).
Division 6 Residual current devices
164   Use of socket outlets in hostile operating environment
(1)  This clause applies in the following circumstances:
(a)  electrical equipment is used in an environment in which the normal use of electrical equipment exposes the equipment to operating conditions that are likely to result in damage to the equipment or a reduction in its expected life span, including conditions that involve exposure to moisture, heat, vibration, mechanical damage, corrosive chemicals or dust,
(b)  electrical equipment is moved between different locations in circumstances where damage to the equipment or to a flexible electricity supply cord is reasonably likely,
(c)  electrical equipment is frequently moved during its normal use,
(d)  electrical equipment forms part of, or is used in connection with, an amusement device.
(2)  In a circumstance set out in subclause (1), a person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that any electrical risk associated with the supply of electricity to the electrical equipment through a socket outlet is minimised by the use of an appropriate residual current device.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
(3)  Without limiting subclause (2), the residual current device must have a tripping current that does not exceed 30 milliamps if electricity is supplied to the equipment through a socket outlet not exceeding 20 amps.
(4)  Subclause (2) does not apply if the supply of electricity to the electrical equipment:
(a)  does not exceed 50 volts alternating current, or
(b)  is direct current, or
(c)  is provided through an isolating transformer that provides at least an equivalent level of protection, or
(d)  is provided from a non-earthed socket outlet supplied by an isolated winding portable generator that provides at least an equivalent level of protection.
Notes.
 
1   
This clause commences on 1 January 2013 (see clause 2 (2)).
2   
Residual current devices are also regulated under the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2004.
165   Testing of residual current devices
(1)  A person with management or control of a workplace must take all reasonable steps to ensure that residual current devices used at the workplace are tested regularly by a competent person to ensure that the devices are operating effectively.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$3,600, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$18,000.
(2)  The person must keep a record of all testing of a residual current device (other than any testing conducted daily) until the earlier of the following occurs:
(a)  the device is next tested,
(b)  the device is permanently removed from use.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$1,250, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$6,000.
Division 7 Overhead and underground electric lines
166   Duty of person conducting a business or undertaking
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that no person, plant or thing at the workplace comes within an unsafe distance of an overhead or underground electric line.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
(2)  If it is not reasonably practicable to ensure the safe distance of a person, plant or thing from an overhead or underground electric line, the person conducting the business or undertaking at the workplace must ensure that:
(a)  a risk assessment is conducted in relation to the proposed work, and
(b)  control measures implemented are consistent with:
(i)  the risk assessment, and
(ii)  if an electricity supply authority is responsible for the electric line, any requirements of the authority.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
Note.
 The Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2004 and the Electricity Supply (Safety and Network Management) Regulation 2008 also apply to the person conducting the business or undertaking.