Electrical incidents and notifications
A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must, under the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 (the ES Regulation), notify the regulator once they become aware of a serious electrical incident (SEI) or dangerous electrical event (DEE) arising out of the conduct of their business or undertaking.
Serious electrical incident
Section 11 of the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (the ES Act) defines a SEI and includes where a person:
- is killed by electricity
- receives a shock or injury from electricity, and is treated for the shock or injury by or under the supervision of a doctor
- receives a shock or injury from electricity at high voltage, whether or not the person is treated for the shock or injury by or under the supervision of a doctor.
What is “treatment”?
Examples of treatment may include:
- the application of creams or dressings to burns;
- cleaning and dressing of wounds, cuts or abrasions;
- setting of broken bones or strapping of strains or sprains;
- administering/prescribing of medications.
Once treatment is administered, regardless of the level of treatment, it is reportable.
However treatment does not include periods of precautionary observation or non-invasive monitoring such as an electrocardiogram (ECG).
What is meant by “under the supervision of a doctor”?
For the purposes of reporting SEIs, the Electrical Safety Office considers that treatment “under the supervision of a doctor” includes:
- treatment from a registered nurse in hospital or medical centre or treatment from a paramedic under instruction from a doctor regardless of whether a doctor was in attendance when the treatment was administered.
Where a person meets the criteria above, the incident should be reported as an SEI.
High Voltage: Any electric shock or injury received from a high voltage source of electricity must be reported regardless of whether treatment for the shock or injury was received.
Dangerous electrical event
Section 12 of the ES Act defines a DEE and includes:
- when a person, for any reason, is electrically unsafe around high voltage electrical equipment, even if the person doesn't receive an electric shock or injury
- significant property damage caused by electricity or something originating from electricity e.g. electrical fire
- unlicensed electrical work
- unsafe electrical work
- unsafe electrical equipment or electrical equipment that does not have electrical equipment safety system (EESS) approval markings.
Note: high voltage means a voltage above 1000V a.c. or 1500V ripple-free d.c.
How to notify
Call 1300 362 128
Fax incident notification form FM3 (PDF, 207.51 KB) to 07 3874 7730
Notification by distribution entities
Distribution entities have particular details they must provide and are able to report incidents using the online entity incident notification form. This form is for distribution entities only.
Note: If the incident involves a death, immediate notification is also required by telephone.
Making safe versus disturbing the scene
An inspector or police officer may need to investigate the scene of a serious electrical incident or dangerous electrical event.
It is an offence to interfere with the scene of an incident without the permission of an inspector or police officer.
There are some exceptions, such as, when it may be necessary for you to:
- save a life
- relieve suffering
- prevent injury to a person
- prevent property damage.
For more information call 1300 362 128.
Keep a record
You must keep a record of the incident or event for at least five years. The best way to do this is to keep a copy of the completed incident notification form for each incident or event.
- Last updated
- 04 April 2019
Codes of Practice are now an enforceable standard to manage hazards and risks
A Work Health and Safety inspector may refer to an approved code of practice when issuing an improvement or prohibition notice.