It has been brought to WorkSafe’s attention that one of the 2013 amendments to the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 (ESRs), specifically Regulation 100(1)(d), has inadvertently created unintended consequences for the electricity supply industry.
100 Safety responsibilities of person who carries out work
- A person who carries out any prescribed electrical work, or any work referred to in clause (2)(e) to (h) of Schedule 1, must take all practicable steps,—
- before beginning the work, to check that any associated equipment and personal protective equipment to be used by that person is in good order and condition, and is safe for its intended use; and
- to follow the procedures approved by the employer (if any) for the work to be carried out; and
- to use the associated equipment and the personal protective equipment provided in a competent manner; and
- to comply with AS/NZS 4836 or the certified design for all electrical work carried out on electrical equipment operating at low or extra-low voltage.
- The responsibilities set out in this regulation of a person carrying out work are in addition to, and do not limit, the responsibilities of that person under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
The requirements of 100(1)(d) were not intended to apply to ‘works’ (as defined in the Electricity Act); the intention was for this provision to be applied to mining operations where the risks to persons are much more serious and in particular to underground mining where the work is carried out in confined spaces and to low voltage installations generally.
The reference to the certified design is for the electrical equipment in a mine, noting that Part 5A of the ESRs relates also to mining equipment.
The intention was not to go outside of the scope of AS/NZS 4836 but to apply AS/NZS 4836 more broadly to installation work within mining operations, within the scope of the Standard.
Neither of the two aspects of 100(1)(d) can apply to ‘works’.
- AS/NZS 4836 applies to low voltage electrical installations as defined in AS/NZS 3000 (limited to installations from the ‘point of supply’) and any electrical equipment contained therein.
- Certified designs are relevant to electrical installations only.
The WorkSafe response to any issues or concerns that relate to regulation 100(1)(d) will be on the basis of this guidance note. This would include recognition that the scope (Section 1.1) of AS/NZS 4836 and certified design are not applicable to ‘works’, and that ESR 100(1)(d) was not intended to apply to ‘works’.