So why is this happening? Three common causes seem apparent:
- Redundant cables not being removed causing confusion;
- Incorrect isolation procedures e.g. no “positive checking”; and
- Not correctly protecting cable ends (whether thought to be isolated or not).
Most of us are not qualified electrical workers and feel we can’t challenge electrical practices in our work areas. Here are some simple examples you might see in your workplace, and tips on questions you can put to your electrician.
- Ask your electrician “have all redundant cables been removed? If not why not?”
- If power has been isolated did the electrician conduct a “positive test” of each circuit per AS3000 electrical code, not just checking the outlets are not “live”. This involves first turning power on and confirming the circuit isolated actually isolates the particular outlet.
- If you see any electrical wire with exposed metal conductors in general work areas this is wrong even if the electrician has isolated the circuit(s). All exposed cables must have the ends properly sealed.