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Ceiling space wiring – is your work compliant?

Ceiling spaces are high risk work locations where there’s a risk of an electrical shock from contact with damaged or exposed live wiring or equipment.

Electrical safety inspectors are currently auditing new and existing ceiling space wiring installations, as well as mid-construction, to check compliance with the Wiring Rules (AS/NZS 3000).

Previous audits of ceiling spaces have found poor, non-compliant wiring installation practices, and the five most common issues are listed below:

  • Wiring systems installed in prohibited locations: Wiring systems must not be installed between any roofing or wall-lining and its immediate supporting member.
  • Protection of cables against mechanical damage: Wiring systems must not be installed unprotected in locations that can easily be contacted by people entering or working in a ceiling space.
  • Inadequate support of wiring to prevent sagging: Wiring systems installed in locations that are likely to be disturbed must be well supported to reduce the risk of damage.
  • Wiring systems installed within suspended ceilings: Wiring systems must not be supported by the suspended ceiling components unless acceptable by the ceiling manufacturer, with additional protection against damage required where cables are in contact with conductive ceiling support runners.
  • Luminaires supported by a ceiling panel: Luminaires must not operate at a temperature that would cause deformation, discoloration or other forms of deterioration of the ceiling panel.

Inspectors will take enforcement action if they find non-compliant installations and work practices. Always ensure the electrical work you perform is compliant with the Wiring Rules.

The new edition of AS/NZS 3000 (Wiring Rules) was published on 26 June 2018 and includes increased requirements for the protection and installation of wiring systems within ceiling spaces.

There is a six month transition period and the 2018 Wiring Rules are enforceable from 1 January 2019. During the transitional period, electrical contractors are encouraged to comply with the 2018 edition where possible.

Further information

For further information go to or call 1300 362 128.

Last updated
17 October 2018

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