Electrical incident notification

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As a business or a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) you must notify the Electrical Safety Office once you become aware of a serious electrical incident (SEI) or dangerous electrical event (DEE) that occurs because of the conduct of your business or undertaking.

Section 11 of the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (PDF, 1MB) (the ES Act) defines an SEI and includes where a person:

  • is killed by electricity
  • receives a shock or injury from electricity, and is treated for the shock or injury by or under the supervision of a doctor
  • receives a shock or injury from electricity at high voltage, whether or not the person is treated for the shock or injury by or under the supervision of a doctor.

Section 12 of the ES Act defines a DEE and includes:

  • whenever a person, for any reason, is electrically unsafe around high voltage electrical equipment, even if the person does not receive an electric shock or injury
  • significant property damage caused by electricity or something originating from electricity (e.g. electrical fire)
  • unlicensed electrical work
  • unsafe electrical work
  • unsafe electrical equipment or electrical equipment that does not have electrical equipment safety system (EESS) approval markings.

Note: High voltage is defined as a voltage above 1000V AC or 1500V ripple-free DC.

Notifying authorities in case of an incident

Notify the Electrical Safety Office of an incident by phoning 1300 362 128. Forms that should also be completed and returned are:

Notification by distribution entities

Distribution entities have particular details they must provide when reporting an incident. If you are a distribution entity you must use the online entity incident notification form to report incidents. This form is for distribution entities only.

Note: If the incident involves a death, immediate notification is also required by phone.

Making safe versus disturbing the scene

If there is a SEI or DEE, an inspector or police officer may need to investigate the scene.

It is an offence to interfere with the scene of an incident without the permission of an inspector or police officer. There are some exceptions, such as when it is necessary to save a life, relieve suffering, prevent injury to a person or to prevent property damage.

For more information call the Electrical Safety Office on 1300 362 128.

Keep a record of electrical incidents or electrical events

Make sure you keep a record of an incident or event for at least 5 years. The best way to do this is to keep a copy of the completed incident notification form for each incident or event.

Actions to take in an electrical emergency

General electrical emergency

  • Do not touch anyone who is receiving an electric shock.
  • Call 000 or 112 (the emergency number on a mobile phone) immediately.
  • Turn the power off. If you cannot do this try to separate the person from the power source using a non-conductive item (e.g. a wooden broomstick). Do not use metal items.
  • Administer first-aid. If the person is not breathing, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Fallen overhead powerline emergency

  • Do not touch anyone who is receiving an electric shock from the fallen powerlines.
  • Call 000 or 112 (the emergency number on a mobile phone) immediately.
  • Notify the police and the relevant electricity provider (Energex, Ergon Energy or Essential Energy).
  • Keep others away from the fallen powerlines.

Do not attempt to rescue the person who is receiving the shock until you are sure the electricity provider has turned off the electricity to the powerlines.