Western Australia – Extract
Duty of Care
Section 19 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (WA) places a duty of care on employers to provide and maintain workplaces, plant and systems of work such that employees are not exposed to hazards.
Records of electrical equipment test results to be provided;
Regulation 3.63 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 (WA) provides that if a person brings to a workplace to which regulations 3.61 applies an item of portable electrical equipment or a portable residual current device required under AS/NZS 3012 to be tested then that person must, before the thing is used at the workplace:
1. provide the main contractor with a record of the relevant testing data under that Standard for the thing; and
2. ensure that the tag bears the name of the competent person who conducted the test.
Duties of certain persons as to use of plant;
Regulation 4.37 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 (WA) provides that the plant at the workplace must be subject to appropriate checks, tests and inspections necessary to reduce the risk of injury or harm occurring to a person at the workplace.
Protection against earth leakage current when portable equipment in use;
Regulation 3.60 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 (WA) provides that:
3. A person having control of a workplace:
- must ensure that each non-portable residual current device installed at the workplace is kept in a safe working condition and tested on a regular basis to ensure its continued effective operation;
- must provide, where electricity is supplied to portable equipment through a fixed socket at the workplace, protection against earth leakage current by means of:
- a non-portable residual current device installed at the switchboard; or
- by a non-portable residual current device built into a fixed socket which, having regard to the primary use of the socket and its location, is likely to be used by a person operating portable equipment.
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 Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (WA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 (WA)..
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