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The content following is in the process of being transitioned from WorkCover to SafeWork SA.

Residual current devices (RCDs)

Where an electrical hazard has been identified and the hazard can be controlled by the installation of an RCD, either a Type I or Type II non-portable RCD must be fitted for all new or modified fixed wiring installations after April 1995 (other than lighting circuits).

Where similar electrical hazards are identified for existing wiring installations, a decision on the use of a non-portable or portable RCD is based on the practicality of the situation.

Not all electrical equipment requires RCD protection. The SAFER approach should be used to determine the need. The following is a list of generally identifiable risks that do require RCD protection:

Types of Electrical Equipment Requiring RCD Protection Examples

Hand held electrical equipment

Power tools, hairdryers, kitchen accessories

Portable electrical equipment that is moved whilst in operation

Floor polishers, vacuum cleaners, portable lighting

Electrical equipment that is moved between operations, where damage to the electrical equipment or supply cord could occur

Overhead projectors, portable computers, welding machines, extension cords, power boards, electrical equipment on trolleys moved from location to location

Electrical equipment that is used in an environment where damage to the appliance or the electricity supply to that appliance could affect the safe operation

Electrical equipment used in wet or dusty environments, outdoors, on construction & demolition sites, in kitchens and laboratories (chemical damage)

All RCDs need to be push button tested to ensure that their tripping mechanism has not failed. It is also necessary to test the performance of the RCD. The owner of the RCD must keep the records of testing for a period of 5 years, except for the daily push button tests for portable RCDs.

Although not a mandatory requirement, the keeping of test records of electrical equipment is advisable, as this information is useful to program future inspection and testing and will provide an inventory of electrical equipment. New electrical equipment into the workplace should also be added to this inventory.

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