These requirements have been in place for 24 years under the Electricity Safety Act 1998.
Under the Electricity Safety Act 1998, electrical workers are required to ensure the power remains off after replacing residential-type main switchboards until the work has been inspected by a licensed electrical inspector.
- A switchboard replacement is categorised in the legislation as high risk and must be inspected by an independent licensed electrical inspector before it is energised to ensure it is safe.
- ESV stands by this requirement to ensure compliance is achieved and the community remains safe.
- ESV, through its improved auditing processes, has recently identified increased rates of defects in switchboard replacement work and other prescribed electrical work.
- New requirements under the Residential Tenancies Regulations have also triggered an increase in the number of switchboard replacements taking place across the state.
- ESV is reminding industry participants of their obligations when carrying out these types of works to ensure they remain compliant and community safety is not compromised.
- Pre-planning between both electrical workers and inspectors needs to occur so that an inspection can take place before energisation.
- Electrical workers are required to arrange for an inspector to attend at an agreed time before the power is to be turned back on.
- Inspectors are also affected by this increase in this type of work.
- ESV will not compromise community safety over inconvenience to contractors and their clients.
- Our expectations are that electricians learn from the issues identified through audit reports provided to them and modify their work practices to ensure compliance is delivered in the future.
- ESV will initiate enforcement action when electrical workers are not responding to the educational material provided and are repeatedly delivering non-compliant works.
- The first priority should be the safety of Victorians.
- An infringement notice for energising a switchboard prior to it being inspected by a licensed electrical inspector is $740 for a sole trader and $3,698 for a company.
- The Victorian Government has introduced new legislation under the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021, mandating that all rental property switchboards are fitted with safety switches from 29 March 2023.
- Yes, electricians should be prepared for this to avoid any issues in relation to inspector shortages in lead up to March 2023.
- Inspectors and electrical workers must work together to overcome these issues in the interests of their customers. Safety must always come first.
Date: 25/03/2023 0:59
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Reviewed 28 January 2023