Electrical contractors have a responsibility under section 222 of the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013. Contractors that do not comply with this requirement may face a penalty.
What does this mean for electrical contractors?
Before an electrical contractor connects or reconnects a high voltage electrical installation or an installation in a hazardous area to electricity, they must ensure an accredited auditor has inspected the work and confirmed that the installation, to the extent it is affected by the electrical work, has been tested and is electrically safe. Further, the contractor must ensure the work complies with the wiring rules and any other standards under section 221 of the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013.
Who are accredited auditors and is there a listing?
The Electrical Safety Office accredits two types of electrical installation auditors, including high voltage and hazardous areas.
Individuals are accredited as auditors to inspect and confirm that a hazardous area or high voltage electrical installation has been tested, to ensure it is safe and complies with electrical safety laws and regulations. Simply put, the job of an accredited auditor is a risk mitigation function for high-risk electrical installations, providing a second check before an installation is connected to electricity.
You can find an accredited auditor at:
- Find a hazardous area installation accredited auditor
- Find a high voltage installation accredited auditor.
Confirmation that installations are ready to be connected to a source of electricity
After the auditor confirms the installation has been tested properly and is compliant, they will issue a certificate. A contractor should receive a copy of this certificate, confirming the installation can now be energised. The certificate can be a standalone certificate or part of a report. Contractors should keep records of them should the ESO investigate.
One of the key components to a smooth and seamless project is early planning, which includes engaging the auditor early. The PCBU or contractor should engage a suitable person to design the electrical installation for compliance in accordance with the associated laws and standards. Early engagement of the electrical designer and accredited auditor can reduce costs due to early intervention of potential non-compliant work.
When the auditor conducts an inspection, they require information that might include a certificate of testing and safety from the contractor, safety data sheets and a dossier, and classification reports/drawings for hazardous areas installations. Other information can include test records, including tests conducted and results, reports (i.e., fire risk assessment) and details of engineers. Engaging with the auditor early is wise as they can stipulate what information they need for the inspection process to run smoothly.
A Workplace self-assessment tool (DOCX, 0.36 MB) is available to determine if work is being conducted under hazardous circumstances, and if action is required to avoid a fire or explosion.