Before starting any work, please consider electrical safety. Those working with electricity may not be the only ones at risk. Poor electrical installation and faulty electrical appliances can lead to electric shock to others at or near the workplace. A person conducting a business must manage electrical risks at the workplace. If elimination is not reasonably practicable, the risks must be minimised. Any person conducting a business or undertaking with management or control over electrical equipment including an electrical enclosure installation must ensure that the equipment is safe to use. This duty applies regardless of whether the person conducting a business owns or supplied the electrical equipment. Contractors must engage a Licensed Electrical Contractor to perform duties and functions of electrical works. The electrical equipment and associated wiring within electrical enclosures and electrical cabinets shall comply with the relevant requirements of IEC/EN/AS61439, AS/NZ 3000, AS/NZS 3100 and the Electrical Safety Act 2002 and associated Regulations and Codes of Practice. Electrical Enclosures should conform to IEC/EN/AS66208 – Empty enclosures for low-voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies. IEC/EN/AS61439 is the Australian Standard for low voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies. Australian Standard AS/NZS 3000 – Australian Wiring Rules provides guidance on electrical installations and wiring standards. For solar applications, Australian Standard AS/NZS 5033 – Installation and safety requirements for photovoltaic (PV) arrays covers the general installation and safety requirements for photovoltaic (PV) arrays (eg. wiring).
Choosing an Electrical Enclosure Supplier
To ensure safety of electrical equipment and installations in Australia, choose a reputable electrical enclosure supplier and brand. Care must be taken if using cheap imports from low cost countries to ensure material quality and IP ratings conform to Australian Standards. Care must also be taken if using general sheet metal fabricators to fabricate enclosures. An electrical enclosure is an integral part of an electrical installation and safety should not be compromised. It is important to select an IP rated electrical enclosure from a reputable supplier. IP Enclosures is a specialist Australian electrical enclosure brand that provides enclosures compliant up to IP66, Nema 4, Nema4x (including IP55, IP56, IP65 and IP66 rated enclosures). These are independently tested via an accredited test laboratory. ‘IP Enclosures’ electrical enclosures conform to IEC 62208 and IEC/EN/AS60529. Ask for genuine ‘IP Enclosures’. For more information, contact IP Enclosures.
In Queensland, the Electrical Safety Office (ESO) develops and implements legislative, compliance and enforcement frameworks to improve electrical safety including electrical enclosure safety. The ESO enforces standards for electrical safety and promotes strategies for improved electrical safety performance across the community with the key objective being to reduce the rate of electrical fatalities, injuries and property damage. This includes a focus on the improved design of electrical equipment by influencing safety standards and enforcing compliance to assist businesses and electrical contractors to identify electrically safe commercial and industrial equipment and safety of electrical installations. Ensure electrical enclosure safety in Queensland and select the appropriate electrical enclosure and IP Rating for the application. For further information, contact Workplace Health and Safety Electrical Safety Office.
New South Wales
In New South Wales, workplace safety including electrical safety is regulated and enforced by WorkCover NSW. WorkCover NSW oversees workplace safety, sets safety standards within NSW and enforces safety regulation and standards. WorkCover NSW provide additional information for people working in the electrical industry on safety matters. For laws regarding the risk of electrical work, refer to Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 clauses 144-166. For practical guidance for persons conducting a business or managing electrical risks in the workplace, refer to Safework NSW Code of Practice for Managing Electrical Risks in the Workplace. Ensure electrical enclosure safety in New South Wales and select the appropriate electrical enclosure and IP Rating for the application. For more information, contact Safework NSW.
In Victoria, Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is a technical and safety regulator responsible for the safe generation, supply and use of electricity. ESV is the statutory authority that licences electricians, manages the Certificate of Electrical Safety Program, conducts community safety campaigns, ensures electrical products are approved and investigates electrical incidents. ESV provides for electrical professionals electrical technical guidelines and information including construction, hazards, inspection, safety services, small scale solar PV solar installation, standards and responsibilities. ESV administer legislation including the Electricity Safety Act 1998, Electricity Safety (Installations) Regulations 2009, Electrical Safety (Equipment) Regulations 2009 and Electrical Safety (Management) Regulations 2009. Refer to the Energy Safe Victoria Act 2005. Ensure electrical enclosure safety in Victoria and select the appropriate electrical enclosure and IP Rating for the application. For more information, contact ESV.
Australian Capital Territory
In the ACT, workplace safety is regulated and enforced by WorkSafe ACT. The ACT Government’s Access Canberra online electrical and electronics module provides understanding and knowledge of hazards and issues in the electrical and electronics industry. This covers carrying out electrical work, duty to manage risks, reducing the risk, unsafe electrical equipment and minimising risks. Ensure electrical enclosure safety and select the appropriate electrical enclosure in the ACT and IP Rating for the application. For more information, contact Access Canberra.
In South Australia, the Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR) is responsible for the electrical, gas and plumbing safety and technical regulation. Its primary objectives are ensuring the safety of workers, consumers and property as well as compliance with legislation and applicable technical standards in the electrical industry including installations requiring electrical enclosures. The OTR promotes, audits and enforces the compliance of electrical installations with safety and technical standards. Ensure electrical enclosure safety in South Australia and select the appropriate electrical enclosure and IP Rating for the application. For more information, contact the Office of the Technical Regulator.
In Western Australia, EnergySafety is responsible for the technical and safety regulation of the electrical industry including installations requiring electrical enclosures. In Western Australia, all persons who design, construct, operate and/or maintain electricity generation, transmission and distribution systems and consumers’ electrical installations must comply with the electricity and gas technical and safety legislation administered by EnergySafety. EnergySafety administers a wide suite of legislation and following consultation with network operators and electrical contracting industry groups in Western Australia, issued an updated version of the WA Electrical Requirements (WAER) which applies from 1 January 2016. Ensure electrical enclosure safety in Western Australia and select the appropriate electrical enclosure and IP Rating for the application. For more information, contact EnergySafety.
In the Northern Territory, NT Worksafe is responsible for assisting businesses and workers understand their obligations under work health and safety and electrical safety. The ‘Electricity Reform Act’ creates the position of the Electricity Safety Regulator who monitors and regulates safety and technical standards of electrical installations including electrical enclosures through NT WorkSafe inspectors and the Electrical Safety Team. NT Worksafe provide information related to electrical safety laws. Refer to the Electricity Reform (Safety and Technical) Regulations as in force 1 May 2016. Ensure electrical enclosure safety in the Northern Territory and select the appropriate electrical enclosure and IP Rating for the application. For more information contact NT Worksafe.
In Tasmania, the Department of Justice Consumer, Building and Occupational Services (CBOS) administers the electricity standards and safety. The Department of Justice provides information on electrical safety, legislation and resources, standards of electrical work and solar PV installations. Worksafe Tasmania provide additional information related to workplace health and safety. Ensure electrical enclosure safety in Tasmania and select the appropriate electrical enclosure and IP Rating for the application. For more information contact Tasmanian Government Department of Justice Consumer, Building and Occupational Services.