Electricity - Frequently asked questions

This page contains frequently asked questions on electricity.

What are the requirements for testing and tagging portable electrical equipment or a residual current device (RCD) for use on construction and demolition sites, and at other workplaces?

What are the requirements for residual current device (RCD) protection in the workplace?

Regulation 3.60 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 requires a person having control of a workplace to provide protection against earth leakage current for workers using portable or hand held electrical equipment by means of a non-portable RCD installed at the switchboard.

Do low voltage generators on construction and demolition sites require residual current device protection? 

Yes. Clause of AS/NZS 3012:2003 Electrical installations – Construction and demolition sites outlines the connecting requirements for electrical equipment supplied by a low-voltage generator complying with the principles of AS 2790. 

Who pays for installing non portable RCDs?

In the context of regulation 3.60, the term ‘person having control of’ means a person who has, to any extent, control over the premises. This includes owners or lessors (or their managing agents) who have retained some control over the premises but who may have no actual involvement with the work activity being carried out there. 

The specific terms of the contract or lease will determine whether the owner or lessor (or their managing agent) has retained a degree of control over the premises for the purposes of regulation 3.60. 

For example, if a lease contains a clause stating that certain works to the fabric of the leased building may only be carried out by the lessor, or with the lessor’s consent, then the lessor would be considered to have retained some control over the premises and thus be considered as the ‘person having control’ for the purposes of regulation 3.60. Consequently, the lessor in those circumstances would have the duty to install non-portable RCDs at those premises if portable or hand-held electrical equipment is to be used there.

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