Northern Territory – Extract
Duty of Care
Section 55 of the Workplace Health and Safety Act (NT) places a duty of care on employers to ensure that workers and others are not exposed to risks to health or safety arising from the conduct of the employer’s business.
Testing and Tagging
Regulation 64 of the Workplace Health and Safety Regulations (NT) requires inspection and testing as per AS/NZ 3760:2010 In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment.
All electrical equipment fixed or portable should be visually checked before each use. If electrical equipment is found to be defective, it must be removed from service until it has been repaired by a competent person.
All mains operated portable appliances connected to flexible cords, cord extensions sets and electrical portable outlet devices shall be inspected, tested and tagged prior to use in accordance with AS/NZ 3760:2010.
The electrical equipment must be re-inspected and tagged by a “competent person” at intervals provided in Table 4 of AS/NZ 3760:2010.
The information to be recorded includes:
- the name of the person or company who performs the test;
- the test date;
- expiry date; and
- identification of faulty equipment and action taken to repair or the removal of the faulty equipment.
Residual Current Devices
Regulation 65 of the Workplace Health and Safety Regulations (NT) provides that:
1. Where electricity is supplied through a socket outlet at a workplace to:
- hand-held electrical equipment; or
- portable electrical equipment; or
- electrical equipment where there is a risk that a worker may receive an electric shock due to the manner of use of the equipment or the place in which the equipment is to be used;
- the socket outlet final sub-circuit shall be protected by a residual current device permanently installed in the switchboard at which the circuit originates or in a socket outlet located on the circuit so that the equipment is protected; or
- the equipment shall be protected by a portable residual current device connected directly to the socket outlet.
2. A residual current device installed at a workplace shall be kept in a safe working condition and tested on a regular basis by a “competent person” to ensure its continued effective operation.
3. The owner of a residual current device tested under sub regulation (3) shall keep a record of the test while the device remains in operation at the workplace.
4. This regulation does not apply where the supply of electricity:
- does not exceed 32 volts alternating current; or
- is direct current; or
- is provided through an isolating transformer complying with AS 3108; or
- is provided from the unearthed outlet of a portable generator.
An employer may breach its duty of care by failing to maintain electrical equipment in a safe condition. Therefore, employers must ensure that risk of injury from electric shock is reduced in the workplace as far as is reasonably practicable.
To meet this duty of care, All States Safety Services recommends that employers comply with the Australian Standards (AS/NZS 3760:2010) for safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment.
Penalties apply for breach of the Workplace Health and Safety Act (NT) and the Workplace Health and Safety Regulations (NT).
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