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Electrical safety updates

New electrical safety website

We're excited to launch a new electrical safety website for the community! Get your clients and family to visit for information on safety switches, electrical equipment and finding a licensed electrician. Let's work together to keep the community safe from the dangers of electricity.

Don't worry, information, tools and resources for electrical workers are still available.

Solar PV system installations

DC isolators in new solar PV installations must have their own dedicated enclosure for outdoor use and is IP56NW rated. The NW is a new higher weatherproof rating and is specifically for DC isolators. IP56 and IP66, without the NW is not suitable for outdoor use.

For PV systems installed on homes, the DC isolator must be certified and registered on the Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS) national database and have the RCM mark. If it's not marked IP56NW (or IP66NW) and not registered on EESS national database, don't buy or install it.

It is important to remember the following when installing DC isolators in solar PV installations:

  • Follow manufacturer's instructions.
  • Make sure the enclosure is sealed appropriately to maintain IP rating.
  • Ensure a suitable shroud is in place if the DC isolator is exposed to weather/sunlight.
  • Ensure that cable entry is not into the top of the enclosure.
  • Don't drill holes in the enclosure for drainage. If needed use purpose made anti-condensation and water drains or pressure equalization valves that are installed in accordance with manufacturer's instructions.

Also remember when installing solar PV installations to explain to the customer the importance of on-going maintenance.

Electric shock risk from fluorescent light fittings

We recently investigated an incident in a bottle shop cold room where a worker received an electric shock when his elbow hit a fluorescent lamp starter in a light fitting.

When installing light fittings, it is important to consider the following to minimise risk of electric shock:

  • Ensure the light fitting is appropriate for the location (for example, does it need weatherproof protection for condensation, moisture or dust, or special design for cold or hot conditions, or does it need mechanical protection/guarding of the tube and starter?).
  • Isolate and lock out power to the fitting before performing repair or maintenance.
  • Assume a light fitting is live and test it before touching.
  • Ensure preventative maintenance is conducted on electrical equipment (including checking the appropriate covers or diffusers are in place over light fittings).
  • When changing fluorescent lamp tubes, if the fitting has an associated lamp starter, always replace the starter.
  • If you are retrofitting LED tube lamps to existing light fittings, ensure the fitting and the lamp comply with electrical safety standards (see Appendix A to AS/NZS 60598.2.1).
  • If changing to LED light fittings (for example changing to LED lights designed to replace fluorescent light fittings such as the ‘vandalite' style fittings), ensure they are types that do not expose live parts if the diffuses/covers over the LED lights are removed, even if a tool is required to remove the cover.

Contractors, if you get the opportunity, remind business owners of the following:

  • Ensure workers are aware of the hazards when working near electrical equipment.
  • Conduct regular checks on electrical equipment to identify missing or broken parts and have a licensed electrical worker replace them.
  • Have safety switches installed on all circuits where possible (especially on all power and light circuits) and test them regularly.

Electrical work experience students must be licensed

If work experience students are performing electrical work they must be an apprentice or a trainee under a training contract registered with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training or hold an electrical work training permit issued by the Electrical Safety Office.

Any students performing electrical work outside of these requirements may be working unlicensed. This can have serious consequences for the student and the business hosting them.

Before a student performs any electrical work, ask to see a copy of their electrical work training permit or confirm with the student and their registered training organisation that they are either an apprentice or trainee. Remember that students can only perform electrical work that is relevant to their study program.

Have you recently changed jobs?

Were you the nominated qualified technical person (QTP) or qualified business person (QBP) in your previous job? Check you have been removed from the licence by:

Further information

Find more information: