The following Safety Alert was distributed to Electrical Group Training's apprentices and host employers on 31 January 2023. The Safety Alert outlines the requirements around working on or near energised equipment, as per Regulation 55 of the Electricity Licensing Regulations 1991. As most apprentices are not permitted to isolate an energy source (unless they are a final year apprentice and under direct supervision), the steps of EGT's Test Before You Touch Isolation Checklist (IITT) are explained in detail and are a useful reminder of how an electrical apprentice and their supervising tradesperson should be isolating an energy source.
Contact NECA Safety on (08) 6241 6100 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding the following Safety Alert or if you have questions about complying with the requirements of Regulation 55 in your business.
106 – Isolation (never work live)
31 January 2023
Over the last five years in WA alone, we have lost five electrical workers to fatal electrical shocks. A further 56 electrical workers have received serious shocks in the same timeframe, resulting in hospitalisation.
These figures don’t include all the reported shocks that have fortunately had no serious consequences, as well as those that have not been reported on at all.
Serious electrical shocks have been on the decline since the implementation of Regulation 55 in 2018, but this does not mean we should be complacent. Electrical work IS DANGEROUS if the risks are not controlled correctly.
Regulation 55 is a section of the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991. This section refers to the requirements around working on or near energised equipment.
This section outlines the need to exhaust all other options before conducting work on or near energised equipment. If isolation is not required (in extremely rare circumstances), the section outlines the necessary requirements regarding Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) and personal protective equipment (PPE).
The best way to keep yourself safe from the risk of electric shock is to ALWAYS ISOLATE.
All EGT apprentices have a Test Before You Touch Isolation Checklist (IITT) on the back of the Risk Assessment in their RAC booklet. IITT stands for Identify, Isolate, Tag and Test.
Ensure that you are familiar with this checklist and know how to implement it correctly.
Most apprentices are not permitted to isolate an energy source, unless you are a final year apprentice and under direct supervision. However, as electricity is inherently dangerous, you must complete your IITT checklist with your supervising tradesperson. You should be checking off the steps as you observe your supervising tradesperson carrying them out, as listed below.
You can check this step when your supervising tradesperson (or team member) has let everyone on site know that all or part of the power is going to be turned off.
NOTE: For domestic work this is usually verbal (for example, informing the resident when the power will be switched off at the beginning of the job and just prior to isolation). For commercial work this is usually communicated via email in advance as part of the scope of works.
You can check this step when your supervising tradesperson has tested the testing equipment that they have chosen to use on a known live source.
You can check this step off when the circuit that is to be worked on has been identified.
NOTE: If you are entering the roof space in a domestic residence, the main switch and any other source of energy MUST be isolated.
You can check this step off once the energy source that was identified has been isolated.
NOTE: Where possible, you should isolate the main switch or isolation point closest to the energy source to reduce your exposure to working on or near live parts.
All workers (including yourself as an apprentice) should attach their own danger tag or lockout device before you check this step.
NOTE: Whenever possible, you should use a tag and lock, as a tag is easily removed or can drop off if not well secured.
After isolating the identified energy source, your supervising tradesperson should then use their tester to check that the cable or equipment that is going to be worked on has definitely been isolated. Once this has been verified, you can check this step.
While testing the identified circuit to work on, the individual cables and conductors should be separated and re-tested individually to identify any possible back feeds from other non-isolated energy sources.
There are two sections for a signature, this should be signed by yourself and your supervising tradesperson.
Remember your ABC
Please make sure you have read and understand all of the following documents.
For further information regarding this Safety Alert, please contact EGT on (08) 6241 6100.