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Electrical Safety

This section contains obligations for all managers. It sets out the University's processes for the safe management of electrical equipment.

Electrical safety requirements apply to every area of the University. In particular each Faculty, Portfolio and other units are required to manage testing and tagging of electrical equipment. The risks involving the use of electrical equipment must be identified and either (preferably) eliminated or adequately managed.

The Electrical Test Standard is the University’s policy and procedure covering electrical testing.

Safe Management of Electrical Equipment

The following lists the basic requirements for electrical safety contained in the Standard.


Resources / Tools

Step 1: Create a register of equipment

  • A copy of the assets register is a good place to   start. The testing register is the responsibility of the Faculty, Portfolio   or other unit.

Step 2. Dispose of any old, disused or seldom used, obviously unserviceable, equipment identified during the register creation process and prior to testing.

  • Do not fill up stores with old equipment.
  • If you need to keep an old piece of equipment for   a period, put a “dispose by tag ……….” on it

Step 3. Set up a testing schedule based upon the register.

Step 4. Identify who is going to carry out the testing.

Advice on suitable testers can be obtained from Campus Services.

WorkSafe considers that portable electrical items, apart from safety switches [also called Residual Current Devices (RCDs)], can be tested by a qualified tester. Given that the testing of RCDs requires considerable electrical knowledge, an electrician must carry out this work.

Step 5: Ensure that all unsafe or failed items are removed from service immediately, tagged as such, and repaired or disposed of promptly.

Appliances which fail a test/inspection shall be labelled with a ‘Danger – Do Not Use’ tag to indicate that they must not be used.

Where testers find any portable electrical appliance in use which in their opinion gives rise to a likely risk of electrocution or other injury they will render the appliance safe, for example, by removing the plug.

Step 6: As new equipment is bought, ensure that it has been tested prior to purchase (electrically approved).

All new electrical equipment displaying Australian or equivalent international approval markings showing it complies with relevant safety standards need not be tested. The manufacturer is considered to be responsible for the item's safety. Used or second-hand equipment must be tested before use.

Step 7: Ensure all staff know how to respond to electrical faults and incidents.

Additional Resources

The following checklists may be useful:

Defective Electrical Equipment

Staff that identify defective equipment must report this to the responsible manager of the area and if appropriate, put in a Work Request through the Maintenance Request System. This section applies only where electrical equipment can be de-energised and isolated fully by unplugging from a power source. In other situations the Hazard Isolation Standard must be used. Staff shall:

  • If safe to do so, isolate the item from its power sources
  • Attach a “Caution – Out of Service” or "Unsafe - Do Not Operate" tag to the item (if possible) where it has been isolated
  • Unless the item is be repaired immediately, the plug must be cut from the cord to stop accidental use
  • If practical store the item away so that it cannot be accidentally used
  • Immediately notify the relevant manager or supervisor

Defective Equipment Standard

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