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New regulations have come into effect which requires electricity to be switched off before people enter the roof space. To assist workers in notifying homeowners of the new regulations the WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner has published the following information in a letter to home owners.
The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety takes great care in helping to protect the health and safety of all workers in Western Australia. As the WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner I have produced this letter, to inform residents of the need to switch-off all electricity before a worker enters a roof space.
The Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 were updated on 14 May 2018. It is now mandatory for a tradesperson or professional who is performing work for reward (worker) to turn off (de-energise) the main electrical switch, before entering the roof space of your home. The power must not be turned on again until the worker has completed their work and exited the roof space.
All workers in Western Australia must comply with these new regulations. This applies to all work (not just electrical work) carried out within the roof space of residential premises and commercial premises that have been converted from residential premises. This requirement does not apply to work carried out on top of the roof of a property.
Examples of work that might be done in the roof space include:
The requirement does not apply to electrical work when there is no other practical way the work can be conducted without power (such as testing) where the electrician is required to undertake a risk analysis and prepare a safe work method statement, before commencing work.
Electricity is unforgiving and far too many serious shock accidents and fatalities have occurred in Australia due to damaged electrical installations in roof spaces. I trust you agree that safety is the first priority and understand why workers must switch off the electricity supply to your house. With sufficient planning, there is no reason for power to remain on while work is conducted in your roof space.