Residual current devices (RCDs), commonly referred to as ‘safety switches’, are electrical safety devices designed to immediately switch off the supply of electricity when electricity leaking to earth is detected at harmful levels. RCDs offer high levels of personal protection from electric shock.
Workplace fatalities can be prevented by the use of properly installed and maintained RCDs.
Requirements for residual current devices
Residual current devices (RCDs) apply to workplaces where ‘plug in’ electrical equipment (electrical equipment supplied with electricity through a socket outlet) is used in the following operating environments:
- electrical equipment is exposed to operating conditions that are likely to result in damage to the equipment (or a reduction in its expected life span) including conditions that involve exposure to moisture, heat, vibration, mechanical damage, corrosive chemicals or dust.
- electrical equipment is moved between different locations in circumstances where damage to the equipment or to a flexible electricity supply cord is reasonably likely.
- electrical equipment is frequently moved during its normal use.
- electrical equipment forms part of, or is used with, an amusement device.
- Obtaining advice from your licensed Electrician
- Reviewing the draft code of practice Managing electrical risks at the workplace
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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