EnergySafe Magazine Summer 2018, issue 49 - Page 8

08 Electrical news Young electrician dies working near live parts By Michael Miskulin, Manager, Electrical Installation Safety Energy Safe Victoria is investigating an incident involving a licensed electrical worker who died whilst working near live parts. On Monday January 29, a 29-year-old licensed electrical worker was installing 3 phase socket outlets at an industrial site in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne. The electrical worker was found unconscious in front of the switchboard and later died. The switchboard escutcheon had been removed and live parts were exposed. Clear access to the switchboard was restricted by a metal bench. Electrical workers should NEVER WORK LIVE and understand the importance of isolation when working on or near live parts. Victoria’s Electricity Safety Act 1998 (the Act) requires that contractors and electricians do not expose themselves to unnecessary risks. It states New Electrical Equipment Safety Scheme legislation published By Adam Murdoch, Manager, Electrical Equipment and Efficiency The Victorian Government have introduced the Electricity Safety Amendment (Electrical Equipment Safety Scheme) Bill 2018 into Parliament, which will introduce new requirements for suppliers and manufacturers of household appliances and electrical equipment. The Electrical Equipment Safety Scheme (EESS) Bill is now available online. Previously, Victoria’s EESS was designed for electrical equipment manufactured in Australia by large Australian-based companies. The new EESS requirements address a significant shift from that profile where most electrical equipment is now that contractors and electricians must disconnect the power supply or take adequate precautions to prevent electric shock or injury. Always » Plan and discuss the job. » Disconnect the electrical supply before starting work. » Confirm isolations are correct and test with suitable instruments. » Confirm connections are correct. » Test completed work for compliance with the Wiring Rules (AS/NZS 3000). Never » Try to save time by eliminating procedures and risk assessment. » Allow customers to leave the electricity supply on. » Work on energised equipment. » Overlook isolating and proving all equipment and control circuits are safely isolated. manufactured offshore. To address increasing numbers of recalls and deteriorating standards of imported goods, the EESS targets importers and manufacturers based in Australia and establishes a national database where suppliers must register as ‘Responsible Suppliers’. Equipment classified as medium or high risk must also be registered. The national database will be searchable and include a register of certifications, Responsible Suppliers and registered products. Consumers will be able to check if a product is registered and identify the responsible supplier for the product. This will be especially useful for purchases made online from Australian suppliers. A new regulatory compliance mark will be introduced with the EESS that suppliers will be required to use on their products. It will assist consumers to identify appliances that comply with Australian standards of safety. Additionally, regulators will be able to trace product faults back to the relevant supplier and, if necessary, contact other responsible suppliers that are importing the same or similar equipment. Are you a registered electrical contractor? Have you joined our Find a tradie listing? Help Victorians find their local electrical tradespeople by opting in today. www.esv.vic.gov.au/findatradie PVC electrical cable contacting polystyrene products By John Stolk, Compliance Officer, Electrical Installation Safety Some Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) cables can be compromised if they are installed in contact with polystyrene, polyurethane or bituminized water proofing and tapes. PVC insulation and sheath compounds are formulated to give excellent mechanical and electrical properties and are designed to last for the service life of the cable. Modern cables utilise resins, plasticisers, antioxidants, stabilisers and fillers to achieve flexibility, thermal stability, mechanical and electrical protection compliant with Australian cable standards. The plasticiser in cable insulation is not chemically bonded and will slowly leach out of the cable over time. The process of cable plasticiser leaching increases when cables are in contact with materials, such as polystyrene and polyurethane and bituminized water proofing and tapes. The rate of plasticiser leaching increases proportional with the area of contact. The leaching of the plasticiser will cause the cable’s insulation and sheathing to become harder, more brittle and prone to cracking. The rate of the cable’s deterioration will also vary with the installation conditions and could result in live conductors being exposed, electric shock or fire. Typical installations where cabling is installed in contact with polystyrene and polyurethane products are caravans, cool rooms, transportable buildings and wall or roof insulation material. If you are conducting work in an area where you can identify PVC cables installed in contact with polystyrene and polyurethane products, check to see if the cable has become brittle. If it has not been affected, consider reinstalling the cable with no direct contact or, if the cable has become hard and brittle, replace the cable, enclosing the new cable in a conduit or in a suitable barrier. In new installations select a cable with protective sheath material that the manufacturer confirms can be installed in contact with materials such as polystyrene and polyurethane. Alternatively cable can be installed with no direct contact, by enclosing the cable in a conduit or in a suitable barrier.