Keeping tabs on unterminated cables

Monday, 04 March, 2019

Keeping tabs on unterminated cables

Electrical workers are being urged to perform a detailed visual inspection and walkthrough to reduce the risks of undetected live unterminated cables, which can cause an electric shock. These cables are often the result of someone failing to ensure all electrical equipment in an installation has been connected.

The Queensland Electrical Safety Office (ESO) warned that live unterminated cables pose a serious risk to everyone and can often remain undetected as the usual electrical tests may not always identify them. It highlighted the importance of performing a visual inspection before conducting further tests, as required by the Wiring Rules.

The inspection needs to be conducted using a well-developed site plan that identifies all equipment. Drawings must be updated when changes are made to reflect the actual final installation, and if the client asks for another socket-outlet, ESO said it should be included on the plan immediately.

When conducting a walkthrough of the completed job, workers should mark off each item to ensure nothing has been overlooked. If something listed on the plan is missing, the site likely has an unterminated cable.

If unterminated cables are found, workers are encouraged to treat them as live until proven otherwise, and either remove them if they are no longer required or disconnect them from supply and enclose them in a suitable enclosure such as a junction box.

The ESO has a zero-tolerance approach to live unterminated cables, and stated it will take action regardless of whether an electric shock has occurred. Electrical workers and contractors are also likely to be referred to the Electrical Licensing Committee for disciplinary action.

Image credit: ©Andrey Popov/Dollar Photo Club

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