Manual of Policies and Procedures

A/9.10 Electrical safety

Contact Officer

Director, Health, Safety and Environment

Approval Date

23/10/2020

Approval Authority

Vice-President (Administration) and Registrar

Date of Next Review

31/10/2023

9.10.1 Purpose
9.10.2 Application
9.10.3 Roles and responsibilities
9.10.4 Electrical work requirements at QUT
9.10.5 Inspection, test and tag of electrical equipment
9.10.6 Purchase and importation of electrical equipment
9.10.7 Reporting of incidents involving electricity or electrical equipment
9.10.8 Records management
9.10.9 Failure to comply
9.10.10 Definitions
Related Documents
Modification History

9.10.1 Purpose

The electrical safety policy provides overarching principles for protecting the QUT community from being harmed and preventing property from being damaged by electricity. QUT uses a risk-based approach to conduct activities involving electrical work and electrical equipment in a way that is electrically safe. This approach is in accordance with relevant legislation, Australian Standards and codes of practice, with due regard for the health and safety of the QUT community and the environments in which it operates.

This policy must be read in conjunction with the Electrical Safety Standard and supporting documents that detail, guide and address the practical elements of electrical safety at QUT.

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9.10.2 Application

This policy applies to members of the QUT community who use, purchase, import, design, manufacture, modify and/or work with electricity or electrical equipment at the University, including:

  • places managed or controlled by the University, such as QUT campuses and distributed sites
  • off-campus locations (such as field work research sites) where the University conducts its operations.

This policy does not apply to extra-low voltage electrical equipment. QUT’s Electrical Safety Standard provides information on voltage.

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9.10.3 Roles and responsibilities

General

All members of the QUT community have a responsibility to promote electrical safety at QUT by being aware of the potential risks and implementing safety procedures when working with and around electricity.

Position
Responsibility

Director, Health, Safety and Environment

  • develops and approves all health, safety and environment electrical safety-related documents
  • monitors and implements strategies to assist QUT to meet its electrical safety compliance obligations
  • determines if an electrical incident is notifiable and reports to the regulator within mandatory timeframes
  • provides direction and advice on electrical safety matters, to University officers, to enable them to meet their due diligence responsibilities
  • approves and issues electrical safety alerts to the QUT community

Executive Director, Facilities Management

  • ensures all infrastructure and electrical equipment built, purchased, hired, or used for Facilities Management operations and activities meets Australian electrical safety legislation and standards
  • ensures any contractors or staff engaged to perform electrical work for Facilities Management operations are Australian-licensed or Australian-registered/certified and competent to perform the work
  • is responsible for the electrical infrastructure in QUT owned properties (and to various limited extents, property and facilities under lease arrangements) for the safe management and compliance of electrical systems, including installation, maintenance, testing and repair
  • maintains records of electrical infrastructure testing and maintenance
Managers and supervisors (within areas of responsibility)
  • ensure all people within their care are suitably qualified and competent to use the equipment or carry out the work prior to using electrical equipment and/or performing electrical work
  • ensure test and tag of electrical equipment is carried out on a regular basis and all equipment is maintained in an electrically safe condition
  • records related to electrical equipment and electrical work (e.g. test and tag, purchase, maintenance, commissioning and disposal of electrical equipment) are retained for the requisite timeframes within QUT-approved records management systems
  • ensure local procedures are developed (where required) to manage electrical equipment and electrical work
  • electrical work (on equipment above extra-low voltage) for maintenance, research, or teaching purposes, is only carried out by Australian-licensed or Australian-qualified persons who have been duly authorised to do so
  • incidents and near misses involving electrical equipment or electricity are reported immediately to Department of Health, Safety and Environment and logged in the HSE Hub
  • electrical equipment brought into the University by staff or students is electrically safe, fit for purpose and, where required, has undergone test and tag before use
All staff involved in the use, purchase, design, importation, manufacture, modification and disposal of electrical equipment

Are required to ensure all electrical equipment:

  • is electrically safe and purchased or acquired according to QUT policies and procedures
  • designs requiring registrationare identified and registered
  • is correctly maintained during its lifecycle and requisite records are managed and retained
  • is disposed of correctly and with consideration for the environment
  • directly imported, must not be used until it meets the relevant Australian Standards or is assessed by a competent person as safe to use and where possible, all compliance certifications are obtained
  • design, manufacture and modifications comply with relevant legislation and standards as outlined in the Machinery, Equipment and Instrumentation (plant) design and manufacture form
  • is visually inspected, including electrical cords and external surfaces of the equipment, for any physical damage before use and any suspect items are reported to a supervisor or manager
  • if found to be defective, is removed from service immediately, locked out (as appropriate) and an ‘Out of Service’ tag is attached, warning people not to use the equipment until it is repaired or replaced
  • if involved in an incident (actual or potential, i.e. near-miss), must be reported to immediate supervisor and to the Department of Health, Safety and Environment via the HSE Hub as soon as practicable
All other relevant members of the QUT community
  • must comply with all relevant legislation, Australian Standards, QUT policies and supporting documents as relevant to electrical safety or as instructed by competent persons
  • should visually inspect electrical cords and equipment for any physical damage before use and report any suspect items to a supervisor
  • must report any electrical incidents (actual or potential, i.e. near-miss) to immediate supervisor and to the Department of Health, Safety and Environment via the HSE Hub as soon as practicable

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9.10.4 Electrical work requirements at QUT

The University expects that all electrical work will be performed in compliance with relevant legislation, codes of practice, QUT policy, supporting documents and Australian Standards (where applicable).

Electrical work must be:

  • performed by a qualified, Australian-licensed electrician; or
  • performed under the direct supervision of a qualified, Australian-licensed electrician; or
  • performed by a person not required to hold an electrical work licence for specific purposes (in compliance with the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld) s55).

Electrical equipment imported, purchased, designed, manufactured, hired, modified or loaned out, by any member of the QUT community, must follow QUT procedures and be assessed or tested as electrically safe before use. 

No work on energised electrical equipment (i.e. live work) is to be carried out by any members of the QUT community. (Exceptions to this policy are detailed in the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 (Qld) s15 and s18).

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9.10.5 Inspection, test and tag of electrical equipment

Regular inspections and test and tag of electrical equipment is both a legislative requirement and one of the methods QUT uses to minimise electrical risk and enhance electrical safety. It is expected that visual inspections, prior to using electrical equipment will be performed.

A competent person, either a University staff member who has completed the approved training program or an approved contractor, must carry out electrical testing and tagging of specified electrical equipment at QUT. Further information can be found in the Electrical Safety - Inspection, Test and Tag Guideline.

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9.10.6 Purchase and importation of electrical equipment

Wherever possible, electrical equipment should be purchased from an Australian supplier or imported by an Australian company. This ensures that all electrical equipment and parts of the electrical equipment meet Australian legislative requirements and safety standards.

QUT has established procedures for the importation and purchase of electrical equipment which must be followed by all staff and students. Purchasing and importing overseas electrical equipment for activities at QUT must be done in accordance with QUT finance requirements. The Electrical Safety - Imported Electrical Equipment Checklist and other supporting documents have been developed to facilitate this.

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9.10.7 Reporting of incidents involving electricity or electrical equipment

Any incident involving electricity or electrical equipment must be reported to an immediate supervisor, local Health, Safety and Environment personnel and the Department of Health, Safety and Environment (DHSE). This should be done via the HSE Hub (QUT staff access only), following QUT's incident reporting processes. This includes, but is not limited to, health, safety and environmental harm, incidents, and injuries (including near misses) and hazards involving electricity or electrical equipment.

If the electrical incident resulted in, or had the potential to result in, a death, serious injury to a person, a person receiving medical attention, or was a dangerous incident, QUT’s First Aid and Medical Emergency Procedures (QUT staff access only) must be followed and it must be reported immediately to the Department of Health, Safety and Environment (QUT staff access only) as it may be a notifiable incident.

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9.10.8 Records management

Electrical safety legislation requires specific records to be retained throughout the lifecycle of any electrical equipment this includes records pertaining to design, manufacture, importation, maintenance, testing and disposal.

To assist members of the QUT community to meet their legislative obligations, the Department of Health, Safety and Environment has developed a retention and disposal schedule for all health, safety and environment-related records.

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9.10.9 Failure to comply

Failure to follow safe systems of work, misuse of electrical equipment, damaging or bypassing electrical risk control measures, performing unlicensed electrical work can lead to severe fines or prosecution under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld), the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld) and other relevant legislation, and will also be dealt with under the QUT Staff Code of Conduct (B/8.1), Enterprise Agreements, the QUT Student Code of Conduct (E/2.1) and/or the Grievance resolution procedures for student related grievances (E/9.2) policies.

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9.10.10 Definitions

Authorised visitors as defined in the Health, safety and environment policy (A/9.1).

Electrical equipment within this policy means any machinery, equipment and instrumentation that is operated by electricity at a voltage greater than extra-low voltage. The Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld) s14 contains a full definition of electrical equipment.

Electrical risk, electrically safe and electrical safety are defined in the  Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld) s10.

Electrical work refer to Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld) s18.

Energised (live) electrical work means electrical work above 50VAC or 120V DC carried out in circumstances where the part of electrical equipment being worked on is connected to electricity or ‘energised’.

Extra-low voltage means voltage that does not exceed 50 volts alternating current (50 V AC) or 120 volts ripple-free direct current (120 V ripple free DC) e.g. mobile phone, laptop/tablet, e-reading device, any device that draws power through a USB cable, battery-operated tools etc.

Managers and supervisors as defined in the Health, safety and environment policy (A/9.1)

Staff as defined in the QUT Code of Conduct (B/8.1)

QUT community as defined in the Health, safety and environment policy (A/9.1)

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Related Documents

MOPP A/9.1 Health, safety and environment

MOPP F/6.1 Records management

HSE Hub (HSE Incident Management System) (QUT staff access only)

Plant and electrical equipment (QUT staff access only)

Electrical safety Code of Practice 2013 - Managing electrical risks in the workplace (Qld)

Managing risks of plant in the workplace – Code of Practice 2013 (Qld)

Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld)

Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 (Qld)

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Qld)

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Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
23.10.20 All Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar Revised policy
09.12.16 All Registrar Revised policy
12.03.14

A/9.10.2, A/9.10.4, A/9.10.6

Council Revised policy to reflect approved new department titled Health, Safety and Environment and new appointment of Director, Health, Safety and Environment
03.07.13 All Registrar

New policy

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