- New provisions that reference the general risk management provisions of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.
- Key terms such as duty, person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) and the regulator are used.
- Renumbering of sections and parts for the Regulation.
- Adoption of the model WHS Regulation provisions for live work but requirements are consistent with the 2002 regulation.
- Risk assessments are still required before performing live work.
- Work must be carried out in accordance with a safe work method statement (SWMS) instead of a safe system. Transitional provisions will preserve existing documented safe systems of work and are taken to be the SWMS from 1 January 2014.
- Safety observers must be assessed as competent for rescue and resuscitation procedures during the previous 12 months (changing from six months in the 2002 regulation).
- The requirement for rescue and resuscitation for workers who perform or assist in performing electrical work remains unchanged.
- A new requirement for PCBUs to ensure electrical equipment is de-energised before electrical work is carried out and making sure that it cannot be inadvertently re-energised.
- High voltage live line work is unchanged, except high voltage live line work management plans which now refer to Australian Standards (replacing the withdrawn Energy Networks Association (ENA) guidelines).
- Mandatory six monthly testing and maintenance of test instruments and safety equipment is now addressed in the new code (with reference to manufacturer’s instructions).
- No significant changes, but some provisions have changed to remove duplication.
Overhead and underground electric lines
- Adoption of the model WHS Regulation provisions that require a PCBU at a workplace to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable that no person, plant or thing at the workplace comes within an unsafe distance from overhead and underground electric lines.
- Where a safe distance cannot be maintained the PCBU must conduct a risk assessment and implement control measures consistent with the risk assessment and consult with entities and their requirements if any.
- Exclusion zones distances remain unchanged and existing concepts and requirements for untrained, instructed and authorised persons are retained.
- Managing risk around exposed energised electrical parts is to be managed through application of risk management principles and the relevant code of practice.
- No change to existing requirements for testing and tagging and safety switches.
- A new duty on a PCBU to ensure that unsafe electrical equipment at a workplace is either permanently removed from use or not used until it is repaired and made safe.
Incident notification and reporting
- No changes to what needs to be reported (serious electrical incident and dangerous electrical event).
- Incident notification provisions will adopt the WHS Regulation reporting requirements i.e. notification immediately after becoming aware of the incident.
- No change to notification requirements for distribution entities.
- Requirements to ensure an incident scene is not interfered with remains, wording will change to match WHS Regulation.
Other parts of the 2002 regulation remain unchanged except for minor terminology or drafting changes
- In-scope electrical equipment
- Electrical equipment – general
- Works of an electricity entity
- Electrical supply
- Safety management systems
- Accredited auditors
- Cathodic protection systems
- Miscellaneous provisions
A number of provisions are inserted to smooth the transition to the new 2013 Regulation, for example:
- Cathodic protection systems registered under the 2002 Regulation continues for the period of its registration under the 2013 regulation
- Existing documented safe system of work for live work is taken to be the SWMS as required by the revised provisions.
Codes of practice
The existing electrical safety codes of practice will be updated to align with the new terms used by the 2013 Regulation. Further details on the codes will be available later this year.