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Electrical apprentices working in ceiling spaces

There are serious dangers in ceiling spaces, and when inexperienced electrical apprentices work in a ceiling space, the dangers can be compounded.

Employers must ensure these risks are managed and provide information, training, instruction and supervision to ensure apprentices work safely in ceiling spaces.

When working with electrical apprentices you should:

  • understand young workers' risk profile
  • manage the risk to health and safety
  • provide adequate information, training, instruction, and supervision
  • develop a positive workplace culture where apprentices feel empowered to speak up.

Consider the tasks you give to apprentices, given their skills, abilities, and experience. Before an apprentice enters a ceiling space, you should identify the gaps in their knowledge and assess their ability to work safely.

Working in a ceiling space

If you or your apprentice need to work in a ceiling or roof space, make sure you turn off all the main power switches at the switchboard first and ensure it cannot be re-energised while work is in progress. This will reduce the electrical risk significantly.

Even with the power off at the switchboard, avoid contact with electrical cables and equipment as some circuits, like service lines and solar PV cables, will still be live. Exposed conductive parts such as air-conditioning ducts, roof sheeting or metal battens could be live if there is an electrical fault.

Share our film about Dale Kennedy with your apprentices and other workers. Dale was working in a ceiling space when he died from an electric shock. He was 20 years old and close to finishing his electrical apprenticeship.

Further information