Don't get caught out working in ceiling spaces

Tuesday, 19 January, 2021

Don't get caught out working in ceiling spaces

Ceiling spaces contain a unique set of hazards for electrical and comms workers. Queensland’s Electrical Safety Office office issued a recent warning after a telecommunications worker received burns when he came into contact with a rodent-damaged cable while installing CCTV in a ceiling space. The exact cause of the incident is still being investigated.

WorkSafe Queensland says this is a stark reminder of the hidden dangers of working in ceiling spaces. If you need to work in a ceiling or roof space, make sure you turn off all the main power switches at the switchboard first.

Even with the power off at the switchboard, avoid contact with electrical cables and equipment as some circuits, like service lines and solar PV cables, will still be live.

It is a good idea to use torches and cordless tools so you don’t need power when you’re working in the ceiling space.

Ceiling space hazards can include the following:

  • Solar PV systems have supply cables that may be live during daylight hours;
  • Battery energy storage systems and uninterruptable power supply systems may have live cables;
  • Damaged electrical cables or equipment;
  • Insulation material covering electrical fittings or equipment (unless the electrical equipment is designed to be covered by insulation, such as an IC-4 rated luminaire);
  • Heat, working at height, dangerous vermin, sharp objects and asbestos-containing materials.

Learn more about working on roofs and in ceiling spaces by visiting the WorkSafe Queensland website here.

Image credit: © Novikov

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