Application of electrical safety laws

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The Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld) (PDF, 1MB) applies to the following duty holders:

  • people conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU)
  • manufacturers, importers and suppliers of electrical equipment
  • designers, installers and repairers of electrical equipment and electrical installations
  • people in control of electrical equipment
  • workers at places where electrical equipment is located
  • officers of the PCBU
  • other people at places where electrical equipment is located
  • electricity entities
  • PCBUs who conduct a recognised external certification scheme.

In situations where the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) (PDF, 1MB) and the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld) (PDF, 1MB) both apply, the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld) takes precedence.

Changes to electrical safety laws

In 2014, changes to the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld) came into effect.

A summary of key changes include:

  • the replacement of the term 'duty' with 'obligation'
  • obligations are subject to 'so far as is reasonably practicable' (by reference to the meaning of 'electrically safe' and 'free from electrical risk'). This is consistent with the concept of as low as is reasonable achievable
  • a new proactive obligation on executive officers consistent with the obligation imposed under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)
  • a new meaning of 'worker' and 'other person'. Workers include
    • employees
    • contractors or subcontractors
    • employees of a contractor or subcontractor
    • employees of labour hire companies assigned to work in the person's business or undertaking
    • outworkers, apprentices or trainees
    • work experience students and volunteers
  • that the electrical safety enforceable undertakings requirements are consistent with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)
  • that inspectors have similar powers of entry, seizure and investigation for the purposes of ensuring compliance with electrical safety legislation
  • a new range of sentencing options for the courts, including adverse publicity orders, restoration orders, electrical safety projects, injunctions and training orders
  • a new statutory notice, non-disturbance notice will be available to allow inspectors to secure an incident scene
  • people seeking an external review of a decision can now apply to Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) rather than the industrial court

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