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AS/NZ 3003 – Electrical installations in patient areas Q&A

These interpretations are intended to provide guidance for electricians, licensed electrical inspectors and consultants in Victoria pending revision of the current Australian/New Zealand Standard. Revision No. 4 – 30 January 2015.

Query number &
Question and response Notes

Query 1


Question: Who determines the classification of areas in regard to patient areas (body or cardiac)? The trigger can be the change of intended use of an area with the introduction of medical electrical equipment.

The specific locations referred to in clause 2.2 shall be wired as patient areas accordingly.

The owner/operator of an installation has ultimate responsibility and should nominate the intended use of an area; however this does not prevent others being deemed responsible for classifying an area as a patient area.

Query 2

Clause 1.4.17

Question: Does medical electrical equipment being introduced to an area, for the purpose of treatment, trigger the requirement for the area to be wired as a patient area? Refer to 1.4.1 for typical marking to indicate medical electrical equipment.
Response: Yes. Locations where it is intended that low-voltage equipment will be used in the treatment of a patient then become patient areas.

Query 3


Question: Is a socket-outlet installed under a bench considered to be readily accessible? The socket-outlet is visible and capable of being reached quickly without removing obstructions.
Response: Yes, providing it meets the requirements of the definition of readily accessible.

Query 4


Question: Is the position of non-permanently installed furniture (e.g. an under bench computer) taken into account when assessing whether a socket-outlet is readily accessible?
Response: Yes, however after an installation has been designed, installed, inspected and put into operation, the placement of equipment in front of socket-outlets, and the consequences of doing so, becomes the responsibility of the owner/occupier.

Query 5

Clause 2.2.3

Question: What parts of a nursing home are required to be wired as a body-protected electrical area? Any location in any facility that has medical electrical equipment (an electrically operated bed) that is intended to be used on/for patients is a patient area and shall be wired as such.
Response: Any area of a nursing home that are patient areas i.e. locations in which medical electrical equipment is introduced and intended to be used in the treatment or care of patients.

Query 6

Clause 2.4.1

Question: Can a lighting circuit, installed in a patient area be used to supply lighting points in another room?

No: Cardiac protected electrical area.

Yes: Body protected electrical area.


Query number &
Question and response Notes

Query 7


Question: Where remote monitoring equipment is located outside the patient area, is this remote location also deemed to be a patient area?
Response: No, however LPD protection, access to controls, earthing requirements (if applicable), indicators and labelling does apply to the socket outlets utilised for the monitoring equipment.

Query 8



Do socket-outlets located, immediately, within 5000mm (2000mm for Dental Surgeries) outside the entrance to a patient area require LPD protection?


This is regardless of whether the patient area boundaries have a door or not.
Response: Yes. Socket-outlets located within 5000mm immediately outside the patient area shall be LPD protected. Further, they shall be taken into account for routine inspection and meet other LPD requirements. Socket-outlets located in non-patient areas, opening off this immediate area, if provided with a door, do not require LPD protection.

Query 9


Question: Does permanently wired medical electrical equipment with type B applied parts require LPD protection?



Response: Yes

Query 10


Question: What other requirements apply to socket-outlets within 5000mm of a patient area? It is not the intention to make the area outside the patient area another patient area, however all other safety precautions apply for the purposes of those socket-outlets being utilised for equipment in the patient area.

All other requirements except for the green sign referred to in section 8, inclusive of (ii)

2.6 Access to controls and indicators

2.7.4 Marking and identification

2.7.2 Socket-outlets that are not readily accessible

2.8 RCD’s

Query 11


Question: Can an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) be supplied from a non-essential distribution board where an essential supply is available?
Response: No, not if an essential supply is available.


Query number &
Question and response Notes

Query 12


Question: Does a UPS status indicator have to be connected to the ‘UPS electrical supply system’ if the UPS has an alternative status indicator facility? The purpose of the status indicator is to clearly show when the UPS unit is operating in ‘battery mode’.
Response: No, provided the UPS unit is equipped with a function to which the status indicator can be connected to indicate that the UPS has switched into battery mode.

Query 13

Clauses 2.2.3

Question: Is a bathroom/ensuite directly off a patient area considered a separate body-protected area? This means that the RCD protecting the socket-outlets in the bathroom/ensuite should be accessible in the bathroom/ensuite.
Response: Yes. All requirements apply (except a separate circuit outlined in clause 2.4.1) including marking and the requirement to have the RCD readily accessible in that patient area.

Query 14

Clause 2.8

Question: Does the RCD utilised in the Switchboard for LPD protection of Cleaners Outlets need to be a type 1, 10 mA, double pole RCD.
Response: Yes.

Query 15

Clauses 2.7.2

Question: When is a separate isolating switch required?
Response: A readily accessible isolating switch is required where:

  • A socket-outlet is not readily accessible and is protected by a LPD that also protects other socket-outlets or permanently wired equipment

A permanently wired appliance is supplied from a LPD protected circuit that also supplies other permanently wired equipment or socket-outlets.

Query 16

Clause 2.10

Question: Can a single-pole isolation switch be installed in patient areas? This requirement does not apply to non-LPD protected final sub-circuits.
Response: No, Isolating switches must operate in all live conductors. E.g. double pole switch required for a single-phase 2-wire circuit.


Query number &
Question and response Notes

Query 17

Clause 2.10

Question: If a piece of medical electrical equipment is provided with its own double pole isolator on the actual piece of equipment, does this meet the requirements of clause 2.10?

The intent of the isolator is to isolate the entire piece of equipment. Could the equipment be isolated effectively without affecting the other outlets/equipment on the same circuit?

If the isolator achieved this, then it would meet the requirement of clause 2.10 of
AS/NZS 3003.

However also relevant is AS/NZS 3000:2007 clause isolation for mechanical maintenance.

This could mean that a second isolator would be required adjacent to the piece of equipment.

Query 18

Clause 2.12.2


Question: Does the area where socket-outlets have been installed within 5000/2000mm of the entrance to a patient area require patient area signs? This is a reference to the green sign detailed in section 8.
Response: No, however the requirement to have access to controls, indicators and provide marking is applicable. Section 8 sign not required, however section 2.6, 2.7.4 and 2.8.6 apply.

Query 19


Question: What are the earthing requirements for socket-outlets installed within 5000mm of the entrance to a cardiac protected patient area/s? EP Earthing conductors must be connected to all patient areas within 5m.
Response: Such socket-outlets shall be earthed via the EP earthing system of the patient area.

Query 20


Question: Are EP nodes required to be insulated and segregated from other conductive items?
Response: Yes.

Query 21


Question: Can an EP test point be connected to an EP junction node? Problems can arise if a node is disconnected and a test point is connected to the node.
Response: Yes, however preference should be given to connection back to the EP junction if practicable.


Query number &
Question and response Notes

Query 22

Clause 4.4.3

Question: Is the looping of electrical inter-connections between separate EP nodes permitted?
Response: No. Each EP node shall be wired directly back to the EP Junction. Each EP junction shall be wired directly back to the relevant switchboard/s.

Query 23

Clause 4.4.3

Question: Do socket-outlets in a cupboard within 5000mm of the entrance to a patient area require LPD protection? 2000mm for dental surgeries.
Response: Yes, unless the socket-outlets are only accessible by the use of a tool or key.

Query 24

Section 6

Question: What are the requirements for the installation of a new piece of equipment in a patient area, such as a dental chair?

Every alteration of or addition to an existing electrical installation shall be deemed to be a new electrical installation, and all relevant provisions of AS/NZS 3003 apply.

Patient areas not wired as body-protected electrical areas shall be upgraded to comply with AS/NZS 3003, prior to or during alterations or additions to the electrical installation.

Alterations or additions to electrical installations in patient areas shall not proceed unless the patient area has been subjected to routine inspection and testing against the requirements of section 9 in the previous 12 months.

Query 25

Section 9

Question: What are the requirements for routine resting? Utilise Appendix G for guidance.
Response: All tests outlined in section 9 inclusive of checking the earth at each socket-outlet and conductive parts of permanently wired class 1 equipment.

Query 26

Section 9

Question: Do socket-outlets outside of the patient areas that are LPD protected come under the requirements for routine testing? All tests apply.
Response: Yes.

Query 27

Clause 9.1

Question: Who is responsible for routine inspection and testing of cardiac-protected and body-protected electrical areas? The owner/occupier shall ensure those carrying out the routine testing are appropriately qualified and competent.
Response: Compliance for routine testing is the responsibility of the owner/occupier of the facility and should be carried out at intervals not exceeding 12 months.


Contact us

If you have any queries in relation to electrical installations in patient areas Q&A, please contact ESV on 03 9203 9700 or by email at or contact our Electrical technical assistance line on (03) 9203 9700 and selecting option 2 from the menu system or emailing your query to