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Do we need to install portable RCDs?

18 February 2011
This question relates to the new NSW safety switch regulation

Q: As we work in homes do we need to install a portable RCD if the fuse box doesn’t have an RCD? This occurs mainly in older houses?

A: Yes. From today all workplaces will be required to install a safety switch, (also called a residual current device) for powerpoints to protect workers against the risk of serious injury or fatality from an electric shock.

As the new NSW Regulation refers to workplaces and the residential home is a workplace for the purposes of conducting a trade or service, it will be necessary to check the fuse box and if the in-house wiring does not have a circuit breaker, then you will need to use a portable RCD.

In business premises, the employer must make sure a safety switch is installed into the power circuit or as part of the socket itself or alternatively use a portable safety switch in any workplace that uses hand-held electrical equipment or where electrical equipment is moved during operation.  You also need to make sure that these safety switches are regularly tested.

Business owners will have 12 months to protect portable electrical equipment used in hazardous conditions with safety switches.

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