Un-switched socket outlets provide a convenient and safe method for connecting certain items of electrical equipment such as luminaires and exhaust fans, to fixed wiring in many electrical installations.
The Electrical Safety Office (ESO) and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) considers that un-switched socket outlets installed on construction wiring are deemed to comply when installed and used in accordance with the following conditions:
Un-switched socket outlets installed on construction wiring must be installed in accordance with:
- the general requirements of AS/NZS3000 (The Wiring Rules) for socket outlets
- the specific requirements for un-switched socket outlets of Cl 126.96.36.199 of the Wiring Rules
- any additional requirements for socket outlets provided in AS/NZS3012 – Electrical installation – Construction and demolition sites.
Note: AS/NZS3012 does not prohibit the use of un-switched socket outlets.
In particular un-switched socket outlets must be:
- rated at no more than 10 amps
- installed at a height of no less than two metres from the ground, floor or platform.
- Un-switched socket outlets must only be used to supply luminaires (light fittings), or fixed or stationary appliances.
- Principal contractors or persons with management or control of a construction workplace must ensure that un-switched socket outlets are not used to supply portable or hand-held appliances.
- Portable or hand-held appliances, such as portable power tools or free-standing pedestal fans, must only be supplied by switched socket outlets.
- ESO and WHSQ consider freestanding portable lighting (see images below) to be portable appliances.