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Electrical safety

Last updated September 2022

This chapter explains your legal obligations in relation to electrical safety and how to manage electrical risks in your workplace.

Health and safety legislation in all jurisdictions requires you to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health and safety of people at your workplace. Ensuring electrical safety is part of this overriding general obligation.

Important: Businesses operating under the Work Health and Safety Act (WHS Act) have additional obligations in regards to electrical safety. These are set out in Chapter 4, Part 4.7 and onwards of the Work Health and Safety Regulations.

Each state and territory also has separate laws that deal specifically with electricity regulation, including:

  • a system for licensing electrical workers and contractors; and
  • a platform to provide consumer protection against electrical work that has not been adequately conducted or completed.

The following table shows the electrical safety legislation for each state and territory. Subsidiary regulations have been made under each of the following Acts of Parliament.

Jurisdiction Legislation
ACT Electricity Safety Act 1971
NSW Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2004
NT Electricity Reform Act
Qld Electrical Safety Act 2002*
SA Electricity Act 1996
Tas Electricity Industry Safety and Administration Act 1997**
Vic Electricity Safety Act 1998
Energy Safe Victoria Act 2005
WA Electricity Act 1945

*A review of this Act was initiated in 2020.
** A Bill is before Parliament called the
Electrical Safety Bill 2022, which will replace this Act.

Electricity and health and safety regulations and codes of practice provide clear guidance for how to perform electrical work. These are as follows:

Jurisdiction Codes of practice
ACT, NSW, NT, SA, Tas Managing electrical risks in the workplace
Qld Electrical safety code of practice 2020 – Electrical equipment rural industry
Electrical safety code of practice 2021 – Managing electrical risks in the workplace
Electrical safety code of practice 2020 – Working near overhead and underground electric lines
Electrical safety code of practice 2020 – Works
Vic Industry standard: Electrical installations on construction sites
The Blue Book
WA Code of practice: Persons working on or near electrical installations