Fundamentals of Australian Electrical Equipment Safety
Like all product compliance regimes Electrical Equipment Safety has both an administrative part and a technical part. The responsibility for electrical safety resides with the States and Territories who are responsible for electrical safety across their jurisdictions.
The legislation is based on:
- Uniform Equipment Safety Rules;
- Australian and New Zealand Standards;
- International standards.
Who must comply?
- Everyone who manufactures or imports the electrical equipment into Australia must comply.
What equipment must comply?
- Low voltage electrical equipment that is designed, or marketed as suitable, for household, personal or similar use.
- It is immaterial whether the low voltage electrical equipment is also designed or marketed to be used for commercial or industrial purposes.
- Low voltage electrical equipment that is rated at:
- Greater than 50 V AC RMS or 120V ripple-free DC (extra-low voltage) and
- Less than 1000V AC RMS or 1500V ripple-free DC (high voltage)
What about electrical equipment that is only industrial and commercial equipment?
Work Health and Safety regulations enacted by each state and territory and the Electrical Safety Installation Regulations of each state and territory apply. Guidance is given in the codes of practice that support the legislation. Relevant Australian standards include AS60204.1: Safety of Machinery – Electrical Equipment of Machines.
In general, Australia is a highly regulated environment and suppliers to the Australian market must inform themselves of the applicable legislation and standards or risk fines and product recalls.
In NSW, the state that issues over 80% of the approvals, all electrical equipment fits, by definition, into a category of either declared or non-declared electrical equipment. There is similar legislation administered in other States and Territory in Australia that sets out particular requirements to be met for categories of equipment to ensure the electrical safety of the equipment before it can be sold.
Declared electrical equipment must be approved and certified prior to sale in Australia and must be marked with the approved mark or number. It is an offence for a person to sell declared electrical equipment unless the electrical equipment has been approved and certified.
A Compliance Certificate may be issued for both declared and non-declared equipment.
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