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Selling electrical equipment

Anyone involved in the supply chain of electrical equipment sold in Queensland must ensure equipment is electrically safe.

Household, personal and similar use equipment is regulated under the Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS) in Queensland. All other equipment is required to meet essential safety criteria .

Electrical equipment safety system

The requirements to sell household, personal and similar use electrical equipment in Queensland are determined by EESS.

The EESS is governed in accordance with an intergovernmental agreement with other Australian participating jurisdictions. The EESS website was established as the central point of information and portal to the EESS registration database.

For more information visit

  • Equipment safety
    Electrical equipment that is not in-scope electrical equipment (for example, a commercial oven in a bakery) still needs to be electrically safe.
  • Electrical equipment certification
    The Queensland Electrical Safety Office (ESO) does not issue certificates. Certificates can be obtained from accredited Recognised External Certification Scheme (RECS), or other Government Regulators.
  • Warning signs for sale of electrical equipment
    A person who conducts a business or undertaking that involves the sale of electrical equipment to the public must not sell an item of particular electrical equipment unless a ‘Don’t Do-It Yourself’ (Don’t DIY) warning sign is displayed.
  • Ongoing responsibilities for suppliers
    Meeting the pre-market requirements for selling in-scope electrical equipment is only the first step for a responsible supplier.
  • Sale of second hand equipment
    Sellers of second hand in-scope electrical equipment must ensure that it is sold with information on how to use it in an electrically safe way.


Kerryn’s story

If you sell or import electrical equipment, you have a legal responsibility to ensure it’s safe. Sadly, Kerryn O’Connor lost her life because the pump she was using hadn’t been designed, manufactured or tested to Australian safety standards.

RUN TIME: 5 mins 40 secs

A00:00:09:16 - 00:00:21:23

Speaker 1

All of the worries that all parents have, but the last thing we would ever have thought of losing any of our kids was through an electrical accident.

00:00:22:04 - 00:00:34:20

Speaker 2

I’m Jim, this is my lovely wife, Rob.

00:00:35:10 - 00:00:36:09

Speaker 1

We were married young.

00:00:37:02 - 00:00:38:24

Speaker 2

We didn’t muck around, we were married very young.

00:00:39:10 - 00:00:47:22

Speaker 1

17 months later. Alanna and Kerryn come along. So we were a happy little band of five.

00:00:49:14 - 00:01:06:06

Speaker 2

Kerryn was. She's probably my sidekick I guess. Kerryn was always tagging along. So when I was a kid and I started racing BMX, then she jumped in and raced it. But I guess the point is, if I ever needed a sidekick. We were going camping, going on an adventure or something, she would always come along.

00:01:08:17 - 00:01:30:12

Speaker 2

Dry seasons in North Queensland have pretty big water restrictions. So really tight for, you know, years on end. So if you had a bore you could just splash the water around like nothing. If we ran the pump too long, it would silt up, get a bit clogged. Yeah she must have been trying to, you know, dunk it to flush it out.

00:01:30:12 - 00:01:41:03

Speaker 2

But at some stage, she's touched it. It had a hidden electrical fault in it. She she couldn't let go of it.

00:01:42:02 - 00:01:52:19

Speaker 1

Jim got a phone call and it was half past 12. And he woke me up and said, Kerryn’s gone.

00:01:54:18 - 00:02:18:21

Speaker 2

We knew roughly the circumstance. We knew it was she'd been electrocuted and it was a pump. The poor thing for for all of the things that she, adventures she had gone on and been through and survived and everything she she died alone in her, in her back yard. I guess the reason why we're putting ourselves through this is we just don't want anybody else to have to.

00:02:18:21 - 00:02:33:18

Speaker 2

Look, If I was sitting on the couch and I read that somebody else had you know, unknowingly plugged an appliance in and it had taken them from their family. And it was because of, you know, awareness. And people didn't know. That's what we're doing this.

00:02:33:18 - 00:03:08:12

Speaker 3

I did the examination on the bore pump. The design of the bore pump was flawed. She didn't know that the product was not designed to Australian standards and the electrical wiring caused the outer metal casing of the pump to go live. In this instance the outcome has been that a product that did not meet Australian standards, it has not been tested to Australian standards, was made available to sale with inferior and dangerous internal wiring.

00:03:08:12 - 00:03:22:21

Speaker 3

And as a result of this, the company director was fined, the company was fined, a criminal conviction was recorded against the company and the product had to be recalled across Australia at enormous expense to the company.

00:03:23:18 - 00:03:36:22

Speaker 1

Kerryn didn’t buy the pump. It was purchased online from an Australian supplier. There are so many things that are being imported and they don't realise until something happens like this.

00:03:37:13 - 00:03:48:13

Speaker 2

A process was put in place in Australia called the RCM, the Regulatory Compliance Mark. Things have always got like a little build tag, part number, serial number. The RCM logo. That’s what you're looking for.

00:03:48:16 - 00:03:54:13

Speaker 1

It's got to be other things, not just pumps. I mean, you could be talking about, you know, a toaster, a heater, anything.

00:03:55:03 - 00:04:33:11

Speaker 3

Suppliers need to ensure that the product is being sourced from an importer or manufacturer that is registered as a responsible supplier, that the product is marked with the RCM mark to indicate that it is being sourced from a registered responsible supplier. For suppliers to register, it's not difficult or expensive. You go to the national website to register as a responsible supplier and give you the authority to use the Regulatory Compliance Mark on your product to signify the product is electrically safe and been tested.

00:04:34:09 - 00:05:04:17

Speaker 1

Anyone who's going to be supplying electrical products in Australia, especially importing them from overseas to make sure that they meet Australian standards, they have the Regulatory Compliance Mark that they're registered as responsible suppliers so that nobody else has to go through all this. Because if it had been done in this instance, we wouldn't be having this conversation. It didn't have to happen, that the sad thing.

00:05:04:17 - 00:05:11:02

Speaker 1

It was preventable. It shouldn't shouldn't have happened.

00:05:11:02 - 00:05:42:01

Speaker 3

Kerryn’s story shows suppliers need to play their part in electrical safety.