The 3 standards of compliance
1. Electrical (Safety) Regulations 2010 (SR 2010/36)
Every employer shall take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees while at work; and in particular shall take all practicable steps to to ensure the safety of the employee while carrying out the work.
The employer must take all practicable steps to:
Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010
- Provide safe working procedures for employees to follow when carrying out the work; and
- Ensure that any associated equipment and personal protective equipment used by an employee is arranged, designed, made, tested, inspected, and maintained so that it is safe for the employee to use.
2. Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA)
Under HSWA law, the business itself will have the primary duty to ensure health and safety of workers and anyone else affected by the work.
As a simplified summary, HSWA is about proactively identifying and managing health and safety risks, and taking responsibility for what you can control.Find Out More
3. AS/NZ S3760:2010
This standard specifies the in-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment to which the SR 2010/36 and HSWA must comply.Find Out More
We comply with the legislation in consultation with the Department of Labor, Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) and the Energy Safety Service (ESS).
The above quote states every employer shall take all practical steps to ensure that all plant used by any employee at work is maintained that it is safe for an employee to use. This responsibility also relates places wherethe public (person who is not an employee) may come in contact with equipment (e.g. a toaster in a motel room or a heater in a public library).
Maintaining Electrical Appliances
A double insulated electrical appliance (class 2) relies on the insulation to prevent the passage of electricity from an appliance to a person in contact with it.
An earthed appliance (class 1) relies on the insulation and earth conductor to prevent the passage of electricity from an appliance to a person in contact with it.
The integrity of the insulation and earth conductor cannot be confirmed without performing electrical tests.
Taking Practical Steps
In taking all practical steps the employers must have regard to:
The nature and severity of the harm. Electric shock is a known hazard and there are many reports which identify the potential severity of burns and death as well as the risk of fire.
Current state of knowledge about the likelihood the harm of that nature and severity will be suffered. If an appliance is not electrically safe the likelihood of harm is significant.
Fortunately most electric shocks are not severe enough to cause permanent damage to a person. But unfortunately a high percentage of these go unreported which means the potential for a serious incident is higher because the true likelihood is not known.
Current state of knowledge about harm of that nature. There is a wide understanding that if you come into contact with electricity electrical shock will result.
Current state of knowledge about the means available to achieve a result and the likely efficacy of those means. Our business promotes a means to ensuring that appliances are electrically safe.
The integrity of the insulation and the earth conductor normally deteriorates over time which allows for deterioration to be detected within the time intervals identified in AS/NZS 3760. Mechanical damage, which probably contributes to 90% of faults we detect, normally has some visible sign. ATSPEC provides tools to employers to assist with training employees to perform visual inspections before each use.
Availability and cost. Appliance testing is available in most centres through various service suppliers, although through our research we have found various levels of service. ATSPEC franchises are able to offer a consistent standard nationwide. ATSPEC has developed testing procedures and systems which provide an effective means to appliance testing at the lowest cost possible. The actual cost to a business is dependant on the number of appliances and the frequency for testing, which is dependant on the environment in which they are used. Both these factors also identify the amount of risk to a business therefore cost is purely reflective on the amount of risk.
Based on this and the statements above relating to other forms of regulations it is necessary to perform electrical tests on appliances. Appliance testing alone is not sufficient in electrical appliance safety.
Atspec promotes assisting employers to train employees in performing visual inspections before each use.
Due to the integrity of the earth conductor and the insulation normally deteriorating over a time period (which is directly proportional to the environment in which it is used) and most mechanical damage being visible by combining regular electrical test to AS/NZS 3760, visual inspections before each use, and good housekeeping practices, the risk of harm from electrical appliances is significantly reduced.