Electrical Safety is defined by the hazards that can be caused when a user is careless like burns, shocks and ultimately electrocution! Guidelines have been set up by the government bodies to manage the electrical risks at work and home alike. Electrical hazards are present in all facets of our life and common sense must be at a premium to avoid electrical risks. There are some simple ways to make sure electrical safety is at a paramount. First assume all overhead wires are lethal and to never assume a wire is safe to touch. Never repair electrical cords and wires unless qualified to do so. Never operate electrical appliances while in water. If an overhead wire falls do not touch it. Finally, use caution whenever you are working near electricity and don’t become complacent. If in doubt, consult an electrical test and tagging service or a licensed electrician. Continue reading about what are other risks and tips for prevention.
Electrical safety at home
Electrical safety is just as important in the family home as it is in the workplace.
You can help to keep your family safe from electrical shock or electrical fire by having your electrical appliances inspected, tested and tagged. Annual testing of your RCD (Safety Switch) will also ensure its effectiveness in the event of an accident.
Changing your appliance plugs to the new, insulated pins plugs will help to reduce the risk of electric shock.
ATS technicians can also change the plugs on your 230V appliances from UK, Europe, Hong Kong, etc to Australian Standard plugs, and safety test and tag each appliance. Note, this service is not offered in QLD due to QLD legislation.
Do I need to upgrade my exit light signs to the running man?
There is no requirement for existing installations to change their EXIT lights to the Running Man lights in the Building Code. You could have a mixture of both EXIT and Running Man on site depending on when your installation and any subsequent changes were completed to improve safety.
Any new bulldings, or works that need a development application (that is making MAJOR changes to a building) would mean the services needed to be installed or upgraded to the current requirements – using the pictorial Running Man sign only.
My switchboard has circuit breakers. Won't they protect my staff from electrical shock?
The fuses or circuit breakers in your switchboard are not designed to protect you from electrical shock and not considered to a good safety; they are designed to protect the circuit wiring of the building from overload which will cause fire.
Only a RCD will reduce the severity, and the likelihood of your staff experiencing serious electric shock.
Why are double adaptors dangerous?
A double adaptor rarely includes overload protection. Should the two items using the two outlets suddenly draw more current, the double adaptor could overload and an electrical fire could result. The propensity for electrical fire increases should double adaptors be piggy backed in order to provide more outlets.
Double adaptors are extremely dangerous, and ATS do not recommend the use of double adaptors in any environment for electrical safety. For a temporary increase in the number of power outlets, ATS recommend the use of a powerboard with overload protection.
Why should I not “piggy back” powerboards?
A single powerboard (4 outlets, 6 outlets, 8 outlets) with overload protection is an effective and safe method of temporarily providing additional power outlets for your appliances. However, ATS do not recommend the piggy-backing of Powerboards as there is a greater possibility of overload and electrical fire.
It is important to note, should the items utilising the outlets draw greater than expected current at the same time, the powerboard may overload and power may be switched off to those appliances. An example of this is when fridges and freezers are plugged into the same powerboard and the compressors of each appliance start at the same time.
What if you frequently need to plug in additional items? ATS recommend you engage a licensed electrician to install more power points.
Do I need to change my plug tops to the new Insulated Pin Plug Tops?
Rules have been introduced to prevent situations where either childrens fingers or a metal object (eg: steel ruler or part of an aluminum ladder) come into contact with the pins of a plug which is partially inserted into a live socket.
Whilst there is no requirement to change all existing appliances to these new plug tops, all new appliances are required to have the new plug tops fitted for safety.
ATS recommend that people who use power tools near aluminium ladders have the plugs on their tools and extension leads changed to the new style. Parent of young children should also ensure all appliances at home are fitted with plugs containing the new insulated pins.