Regulation 52BA of the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991 states that Preliminary Notices, Notices of Completion and Electrical Safety Certificates are not required if the transportable structure is being constructed (at its place of manufacture) and won’t be connected to a supply of electricity at this construction site.
However, where electrical installing work is carried out on a transportable structure at the site where it is intended to be connected to the electricity supply, the regulations pertaining to notices submitted and Safety Certificates apply.
This then raises the questions of what are the obligations on the electrical contractor wiring the transportable in the yard, and then on the contractor connecting the transportable on site.
1. The contractor wiring the transportable in the yard must ensure that all work undertaken complies with the relevant wiring standards and is tested to ensure compliance. Whilst regulation 52BA alleviates the need for them to submit notices and issue a safety certificate for the work undertaken, the contractor must ensure full compliance by completing and maintaining comprehensive testing records, which prove they have shown due diligence in performing their work. These should be available for audit or upon request, particularly if requested by the onsite contractor connecting the unit to supply.
2. The on-site electrical contractor connecting the transportable to supply does not have the exemption for submitting notices to the relevant Network Operator and issuing a Safety Certificate to the owner/customer. This contractor must do their own verification and tests at the time of connection and ascertain that the total installation connected to supply complies with requirements.
They should not rely solely on test sheets or any documentation provided by the manufacturer and should undertake checks and tests to ensure that the test results obtained indicate a safe connection to supply and that fittings/apparatus have not been damaged or become loose during transit. Once again, proper testing ensures that no issues will arise at a later date for a non-compliant installation, particularly when other trades are working at the site and the possibility of screws penetrating electrical wiring exists prior to connection.
For the purpose of this regulation a ‘Transportable structure’ is defined as a structure that can be moved from a site to another site and on which notifiable work may be carried out, including a caravan.
NECA recommends that the electrical contractor wiring the transportable in the yard, as well as undertaking and maintaining comprehensive test records, also inserts a test certificate at the switchboard indicating who undertook the tests, when the tests were completed and certifying that the wiring complied at the time.
The onsite electrical contractor should note on their submitted paperwork that the internal wiring was completed by others, however tests and possible visual checks undertaken confirm that the installation was safe to be connected to supply.