Qld to amend electrical safety laws

Friday, 02 February, 2024

Qld to amend electrical safety laws

The Queensland Government intends to significantly strengthen the state’s electrical safety laws following a 2023 review of Queensland’s Electrical Safety Act 2002.

The review and subsequent public discussion paper, which involved extensive consultation with industry, registered unions and the community, had a particular focus on the electrical risks posed by emerging technologies.

“Queensland’s Electrical Safety Act was introduced in 2002 and the way we use and interact with electricity has changed dramatically since then,” said Minister for Industrial Relations Grace Grace.

“The amendments we are proposing will ensure the Act stays ahead of rapidly evolving electrical technology, keeping safety front and centre so we can enjoy the benefits it brings.”

The government intends to legislate to expand the definition of “electrical equipment” to include some high-risk extra-low-voltage items; consultation identified items such as solar PV modules and some lithium-ion batteries as being of particular risk.

It is also seeking to update the definition of “electrical installation” to ensure it covers modern energy generation systems, as well as new and emerging technologies such as battery energy storage systems.

Additionally, a working group will be established to ensure the legislative definition of “electrical work” is clear, fit for purpose and adaptable to ongoing technological advancements.

Separate to the review, a roundtable chaired by the Commissioner for Electrical Safety has been convened to consider safety improvements for those who work on electric vehicles, with outcomes to be referred for national consideration later this year.

For more information, visit https://www.oir.qld.gov.au/public-consultation/electrical-safety-act-2002-review.

Image credit: iStock.com/zstockphotos

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