ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR NEWS AND UPDATES

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1 ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR NEWS AND UPDATES NEWSLETTER No. 13 JULY 2011 This newsletter is produced by Bruce Blacker of Insight Electrical Consulting & Training Pty Ltd to inform and aid the electrical contracting industry. All information contained in this newsletter to be taken as a guide only and should be verified prior to its implementation or use. Welcome Through this newsletter I will attempt to keep you up to date with the major issues which affect you. If you have any comment or suggestions in regards to this newsletter please pass them onto me so that the information contained in this publication remains both informative and suits your needs. The following articles appear in this newsletter: Contents New RCD Requirements for Workplaces AS/NZS 3000 Wiring Rules Frequently Asked Questions Service and Installation Rules Amendments National Electrician License Level 2 Service Provider Courses Web Site Electrical Contractor News and Updates No. 13 Page 1

2 New RCD Requirements for Workplaces Last December the New South Wales Minister for Finance, Mr Michael Daly, announced that new regulations would be introduced to mandate safety switches in all workplaces. In February the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Residual Current Devices) Regulation 2011 was published. This regulation introduces the mandatory installation and testing of RCDs in all work places. This regulation is divided into a number of sub clauses. 4 of these sub-clauses will affect our customers who are operating workplaces. I will attempt to summarise these requirements. Clause 62A states that each electrical outlet socket at a place of work is protected by a RCD. It also states that as far as reasonably practicable the RCD is incorporated before or as part of the outlet. Employers have 4 years from the commencement of the regulation to comply with this clause. In simple terms all outlets will need to be protected by RCDs. The RCD can be installed to protect the complete circuit or as a part of the socket outlet. It cannot be installed between the outlet and the electrical equipment. Clause 62B states that: that each of the following electrical articles at a place of work is protected by a RCD. This clause is a requirement for equipment supplied by a socket outlet not exceeding 20 amps. The electrical articles are: (a) a hand-held article, (b) an electrical article that is moved while in operation, (c) an electrical article that is moved between operations in circumstances that could result in damage to the article, (d) an electrical article that is used for construction work, (e) an electrical article that is used in an environment in which normal use of the article exposes the article to operating conditions that are likely to result in a reduction in its expected life span, including exposure to moisture, heat, vibration, mechanical damage, corrosive chemicals or dust. Employers have 12 months from the commencement of the regulation to comply. Clause 62C states that an employer must ensure that RCDs are tested regularly by a competent person and records of each test are maintained. Electrical Contractor News and Updates No. 13 Page 2

3 Clause 62D states that these requirements extend to the controllers of the premises. In a nutshell this regulation requires that all outlets in workplaces need to be RCD protected and if anything portable is plugged into them the RCD needs to be installed prior to February 2012 and for all other outlets the RCDs need to be installed before February The complete regulation can be found on the New South Wales Government s web site at: AS/NZS 3000 Wiring Rules Frequently Asked Questions Standards Australia have published a number of frequently asked questions in regards to AS/NZS 3000 Wiring Rules and their answers. These answers have been given by the committee in charge of the Wiring Rules and act, in the same way, as rulings given in previous additions of the Wiring Rules. A copy of the frequently asked questions can be viewed and or downloaded from the following web address: It is my recommendation that you take a look at these questions and answers as they can help to clarify a number of points. Some of the items that have been covered by the frequently asked questions include: Clarification of requirements in regards to alterations, additions and repairs. Connecting aluminium conductors. Bonding of exposed conductive parts associated with unprotected consumers mains such as point of attachment supports, switchboard surrounds, etc. Figures have been included to demonstrate compliance. Equipotential bonding of pool fences, etc. RCD protection not required for emergency lighting and exit sign circuits. Addition of ceiling fans, exhaust fans, etc to an existing light circuit and the requirements for non-rcd protection. Requirements for installation of unprotected consumers mains without the requirements of short circuit protection or additional mechanical protection such as heavy duty conduit. Clarification of the requirements for mechanical protection. Spacing of underground services. Clarification on the requirements for equipotential bonding of steel reinforcing in showers and bathrooms. Clarification in regards to the correct circuit marking on a switchboard. Electrical Contractor News and Updates No. 13 Page 3

4 Clarification on enclosing a wiring system in a concrete path. Clarification on the use of an RCD outlet when extending an existing circuit. Clarification on the requirements for fixing of socket-outlets for lighting, etc. Table which gives the comparison of circuit route lengths based on fault loop impedance and various voltage drops. Clarification of colour identification allowed via sleeving. Service Rules Amendments The 2006 edition of the Service and Installation Rules of New South were amended in early This is the third amendment to this document. After a major amendment happening in 2007, a very much minor amendment was carried out in 2008 and issued in January Another minor amendment was issued in January This amendment, or if you would like a copy of the latest Service Rules book, these can be obtained by visiting the Department s web site. The web address being: National Electricians License It has been announced that a National licensing scheme for electricians will commence in July At the present time infomation in relation to the scheme is scarce. Further information including draft regulations will be posted shortly on the National Occupational Licensing System s web site shortly. To keep up to date with what is happening and have some input into the possible changes refer to the web site at Level 2 Service Provider Training Courses Last year we suceesfully organised and conducted a company course for Level 2 Service Providers in Wagga Wagga. This course included training in Category 1- Disconnection / Reconnection at the Point of Attachement, Category 2 Undergound Service Mains and Category 4 Metering and Energising new Service. The training was conducted over 6 days. This same course can be carried out as a company course in almost any location. Being conducted as a company course the costing per person would be dependant on the number of people participating. The cost is approximately the same as attending either the Newcastle or Liverpool based training courses without the added costs of travelling, accomodation, etc. Electrical Contractor News and Updates No. 13 Page 4

5 If you are interested in attending a Level 2 Service Provider course or looking at putting a course on in your local area please contact me with details, etc. If we can get enough people interested, or people are willing to pay the expense, the course can be arranged. Please note that there will be no obligation to attend just by supplying me with an expression of interest. Web Site We are constantly upgrading our web site and the range of equipment which we can supply to the electrical industry. Latest items added to our ever expanding range has included: first aid kits to suit both the WorkCover NSW B type kit and the requirement of ISSC14 for electrical workers, high visibility vests made of flame retardant materials, etc. If you are after any electrical safety equipment at competitive prices have a look on our web site at Final Comments Insight Electrical Consulting & Training Pty Ltd is still available to help in many areas including; liaison with supply authorities, technical advice, interpretation of defects and Wiring Rules, switchboard specification and design, single line diagrams, electrical designs, etc. If you have any areas which you need assistance just give us a call and I will help you out. Insight Electrical Consulting & Training Pty Ltd is able to specify switchboards and source prices from a number of switchboard manufacturers. All comments in this newsletter are those of Insight Electrical Consulting & Training Pty Ltd and clarifications may be required before this information is used for general work. Electrical Contractor News and Updates No. 13 Page 5

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