07:36 am, Friday 12 March, 2010
The Electrical Safety Office (ESO) has released a safety alert about risk management of tasks associated with ceiling insulation.
ESO’s newest safety alert is a reminder to insulation installers and licensed electricians of the requirements over the managing ceiling insulation risks, including the new requirements, which took effect from 9 March 2010.
The Minister for Industrial Relations has made a Ministerial Notice effective from 9 March 2010, which requires installers to take extra precautions when installing electrically conductive insulation (other than metal foil batts) in sites where the insulation is installed onto the ceiling.
Since 1 November 2009, insulation installers have been barred from using conductive fastenings for foil ceiling insulation. They are also required to have risk assessment training, and documented risk assessments dealing with electrical safety risks.
These changes were mandated under the Electrical Safety (Installation of Ceiling Insulation) Notice 2009 and are now incorporated into a new Ministerial Notice, the Electrical Safety (Installation of Ceiling Insulation) Notice 2010 with the following additional provisions:
- an electrical safety inspection and test of the electrical installation related to the ceiling space at the premises must be performed by a licensed electrical contractor before electrically conductive ceiling insulation is installed,
- following the inspection and test, if any part of the electrical installation in the ceiling space is not electrically safe, the installation of electrically conductive ceiling insulation must not proceed until the installation is made safe or repaired.
If the outcome of the inspection and test of the electrical installation undertaken confirms the electrical installation is electrically safe, then electrically conductive insulation may be installed under the following conditions:
- before beginning the installation, a safety switch is installed on each final sub-circuit and sub-mains located in the ceiling space where such installation is possible; and
- the consumer’s mains and/or cables of the electrical installation not able to be protected by a safety switch are clearly identified and marked permanently at the most accessible point and at intervals not exceeding one metre in the ceiling space to the extent that is reasonably practicable; and
- the electrically conductive ceiling insulation is installed so as to ensure that the consumer’s mains, and any circuit not able to be protected by a safety switch, are not covered at any point by the ceiling insulation; and
- during the installation, a minimum of 25mm separation is maintained between the ceiling insulation material and the consumer’s mains and/or any cables of the electrical installation not able to be protected by a safety switch.
The Ministerial Notice applies in Queensland, irrespective of any requirements or conditions of the Australian Government’s yet to commence Household Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme.
For more information, please visit www.electricalsafety.qld.gov.au.