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Unterminated cables can cause electric shock

Live unterminated cables are a serious risk to everyone, not just electrical workers. These cables are often the result of someone failing to ensure all electrical equipment in an installation has been connected. Live unterminated cables can often remain undetected as the usual electrical tests may not always identify them. This is why your visual inspection is essential, and why the Wiring Rules requires it to be performed before conducting further tests.

Your visual inspection needs to be conducted using a well-developed site plan that identifies all equipment. Drawings must be updated when changes are made to reflect the actual final installation (as-constructed). If the client asks for another socket-outlet, include it on the plan immediately.

When you conduct a walkthrough of the completed job, mark off each item to ensure nothing has been overlooked. If something listed on the plan is missing, it’s highly likely that the site has an unterminated cable.

Always treat unterminated cables as live until you have proven otherwise. If you find unterminated cables, either remove them if they are no longer required or disconnect them from supply and enclose them in a suitable enclosure such as a junction box.

The Electrical Safety Office has a zero-tolerance approach to live unterminated cables. We will take action in all circumstances, regardless of whether an electric shock has occurred. Electrical workers and contractors are also likely to be referred to the Electrical Licensing Committee for disciplinary action.

Last updated
28 February 2019

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