SGA Property Consultancy explains the regulatory requirements for
electric installations following the adoption of the national harmonised WH&S
legislation by various states and regions across Australia.
The harmonised WH&S legislation is now applicable in New South
Wales, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia, South Australia,
Tasmania and Northern Territory. The harmonised WH&S regulations have not
been approved in Victoria, which has chosen to retain their own regulation and
application of AS/NZS3000.
Residual Current Device (RCD)
Residual Current Devices (RCD) or safety switches help prevent
electrocution or electrical fires caused by faulty equipment or physical
contact with a live electrical equipment or wire, by cutting off the electrical
current. Installation of RCDs by landlords and tenants is governed by certain
national, state and territory legislation. However, all standards regulations
and legislations define the requirement for regular testing and record keeping
of the RCDs.
New or modified circuits
A Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) must protect new or
modified circuits with a non-portable RCD consistent with AS/NZS 3000:2007.
Both the landlord and tenant have an obligation to ensure all new
refurbishments are provided with RCDs, either at the socket or on the
The PCBU must ensure that electrical risks are minimised by the use of
an appropriate RCD in the following circumstances: Use of electrical equipment
in a hostile environment (moisture, heat, vibration, mechanical damage, corrosive
chemicals or dust); Electrical equipment is moved between different locations
in circumstances where damage to the equipment or to a flexible electricity
supply cord is reasonably likely; Electrical equipment is frequently moved
during its normal use; Electrical equipment forms part of, or is used in connection
with an amusement device.
Construction and demolition
The PCBU must comply with the RCD requirements described in AS/NZS
3012:2010 Electrical installations - Construction and demolition sites.
SGA Property Consultancy recommends that planned proactive upgrading be
carried out to all power and light circuits equal to or less than 20A in
accordance with current AS/NZS 3000 as a WH&S initiative for electrical