Risk of battery-powered devices near electrical equipment

Monday, 29 July, 2019

Risk of battery-powered devices near electrical equipment

Queensland’s Electrical Safety Office (ESO) has issued a warning that failure to maintain battery-powered devices such as energy monitoring systems, time clocks or communication equipment can create a potential electric shock hazard and may cause damage to electrical equipment. This safety hazard can occur if a battery-powered device leaks an alkaline substance onto electrical equipment located below.

Industry professionals should be aware of and control this risk when working on switchboards and meter panels near unmaintained battery-powered devices.

The ESO has advised that if batteries have leaked, the extent of the leakage should be noted and workers should ensure suitable controls are in place to eliminate the shock hazard and chemical exposure. This may include advising the owner to have the device and associated cabling removed.

To avoid the risk to equipment and people, unused battery-powered devices should have their batteries removed, be located so that battery leakage does not endanger other electrical equipment, or be removed (including any associated cabling).

The ESO is currently advising electricity meter installers and retailers they should not install meters below battery-powered devices.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/BigNazik

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