New legislation introduced to improve safety for electricians

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The WA Government has recently introduced new legislation to help improve the safety of electricians and other workers.

The Occupational Safety and Health, and the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations have been amended to address workers being killed by electricity in roof spaces or domestic dwellings.

Under these new rules, electrical work on or near live electrical installations and equipment will be prohibited, except for rare circumstances where it is impossible to work without the electrical installation being energised, such as testing.

Another amendment to be implemented will require the electricity main switch to be turned off before any workers enter the ceiling space of domestic properties.

“The new regulations follow the deaths of four Western Australian electrical workers in the past four years,” said Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston.

“An electrician was electrocuted while working in the roof space of a Yokine property in March 2016. This fatality bears many similarities with the tragic death of 18-year-old Jayden Zappelli in 2013.

“Tragically, the main contributing factor in most of these incidents was because the electrical equipment and installations were energised.

“Safety is one of the McGowan Government’s key priorities and I’m confident the new rules will significantly improve worker safety.”

WorkSafe and EnergySafety will soon publish a Code of Practice for Persons Working on or Near Energised Electrical Installations and Guidance Note – Working in roof spaces to assist employers and workers with the amended regulations.

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