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Safety Alert: Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment at the Workplace

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WorkSafe ACT recently had a report of an incident of a worker receiving an electric shock due to a faulty cord on a laptop charger and laptop charging station.

Electric shock from contact with damaged or exposed energised (live) wiring or equipment can lead to serious injury, such as burns, bruising, shock, or death.

It is the responsibility of persons conducting business and undertakings (PCBUs) under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to manage risks to work health and safety including identifying and controlling the risks of electric shock at the workplace.

Managing the risks

Electricity is a significant hazard at many workplaces. Any electrical equipment used at a workplace that is supplied with electricity through an electrical socket must be regularly inspected and tested by a competent person. This is very important for workplaces where electrical equipment is used in a way that is likely to damage the equipment or reduce its expected life span.

PCBUs must ensure electrical equipment is regularly tested and tagged by a competent person, such as a qualified electrician. PCBUs must immediately disconnect any unsafe and or untested electrical equipment from its electrical supply. Once disconnected (or isolated), the equipment must not be reconnected or used until it is replaced, repaired or tested by a competent person and found safe. Alternatively, the equipment can be replaced or permanently removed from use.

More information

For more information on managing electrical risks in the workplace, see the Code of Practice: Managing Electrical Risks in the Workplace.

Electric shock, even if they have not resulted in injury, are notifiable incidents and must be reported to WorkSafe ACT. PCBUs can call WorkSafe ACT on 13 22 81, after hours on 0419 120 028 or email at worksafe@worksafe.act.gov.au to notify an incident. Notification can also be made using the online form available on the WorkSafe ACT website.

 

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