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1. Purpose and Objectives

As an employer, The University of Queensland has a legal obligation under the Electrical Safety Act 2002 to ensure the electrical safety of each of its staff at work. The University also has an obligation to ensure the electrical safety of others is not affected by the way they conduct their business.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

AS/NZS - Australian/New Zealand Standards

ESMP - The University of Queensland's Electrical Safety Management Plan.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all staff, students, contractors and visitors of The University of Queensland who may use electrical equipment.

4. Policy Statement

To implement the purpose and objectives of this policy The University of Queensland has developed an Electrical Safety Management Plan. The plan has been endorsed by the Vice-Chancellor's Risk and Compliance Committee.

The Electrical Safety Management Plan sets out in a document, the system designed to effectively manage the safety risks associated with working with electricity at UQ.

5. Responsibilities

Responsibilities for electrical safety on UQ sites include but are not limited to the following (refer also to detailed position descriptions):




  • primary executive responsibility for Occupational Health and Safety.

Director OH&S

  • ensuring University wide compliance with Electrical Safety Management Plan (ESMP); and

  • acting as the qualified business person on UQ's electrical contractors licence.

Faculty and Divisional Managers


  • establishing and maintaining systems to facilitate compliance with the ESMP;

  • ensuring that all staff and contractors working for them and their sections are aware of and comply with the ESMP;

  • ensuring that workers are licensed and competent to carry out their allocated duties;

  • ensuring that each staff member has the correct tools, equipment and material to complete the work in a safe and efficient manner;

  • ensuring that risks are assessed, control measures identified and on-site risk assessments completed and control measures implemented when necessary;

  • ensuring that work is completed in accordance with instructions; and

  • ensuring that work complies with the appropriate standards, has been properly tested and the site is safe.

Qualified Technical Person (QTP)

  • implementing systems to facilitate compliance with the ESMP;

  • technical supervision of electrical workers under their control;

  • maintaining a register of all Faculty/Division/Institute electrical workers and their licences;

  • training of staff and contractors - induction and ongoing;

  • investigating and reporting of electrical incidents;

  • providing advisory services in relation to the requirements of the Electrical Safety Act 2002 and relevant standards;

  • reporting of electrical incidents to the OH&S division;

  • certification of electrical installations and equipment;

  • acting as the primary point of contact for electrical safety issues for the Faculty/Division/Institute;

  • assisting Faculty/Division/Institute to develop systems to comply with the requirements of the ESMP;

  • assisting the Faculty/Division/Institute to develop risk assessments; and

  • Retain a copy of  Electrical Safety Certificates for electrical work completed under their control.

Property & Facilities Division (P&F)

  • Senior Electrical Engineer (P&F) provides technical consultancy to the University.
  • Electrical Supervisors (P&F): implement procedures to ensure compliance with the ESMP; provide supervision of electrical workers; ensure training of staff and contractors – Induction and annual OHS refresher; assist with the investigation and reporting of electrical incidents; provide advice in relation to the requirements of the Electrical Safety Act, Regulations and AS3000.

Electrical Workers (staff, contract or labour hire)


  • complying with the ESMP and Faculty/Division/Institute procedures;

  • bringing to the attention of the project officer any potential electrical hazard; and

  • Work under the direction of a QTP.

University staff, students and visitors

  • the safe use of electricity;

  • ensuring the safety of those under their supervision and care; and

  • ensuring compliance with the ESMP.

6. Standards for Electrical Installation, Repair, Maintenance and Construction work

All classes of electrical work described below must be carried out in strict accordance with requirements of relevant governing legislation in force at the time. Pre-eminent requirements are set out within the Electrical Safety Act 2002 and the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013, supported by advisory information such as Codes of Practice and Australian Standards (eg AS/NZS 3000:2007).

6.1 Working near exposed live parts

Legislative requirements mandate the proximity to which persons having varying degrees of competency can approach and work around exposed live electrical parts. These requirements are mandated in the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013. Further detals are avaible in the ESMP.

6.2 Electrical work

The conduct of electrical work is prohibited unless a person is licensed or certified as competent under legislation to perform that work. Live electrical work carries a higher degree of risk and is prohibited by law except under strict controls.

6.3 Electrical work licences

All electrical work at voltages in excess of extra low voltage (less than 50Volts AC (RMS) or greater than 120Volts Ripple free DC) must only be carried out by or supervised by licensed and competent electrical workers.

Electrical work is defined by the Electrical Safety Act 2002 as “The manufacture, construction, installation, testing, maintenance, repair, alteration, or replacement of electrical equipment or parts”.

All electrical work on fixed wiring and installations must be arranged through P&F.

Any persons who are not holders of relevant electrical licences must not undertake work or be exposed to situations where contact with exposed live parts is possible at voltages in excess of extra low voltage.

6.4 Periodic testing of electrical equipment and residual current devices

The Queensland Electrical Safety Regulations 2013 mandate that items of specified electrical equipment in use within a workplace must be tested and inspected. Detailed of these tests and inspection are documented in UQ's Electrasafe guidline.

7. Additional Information

General guidelines for The University of Queensland have been developed and publicly posted in combination with the Electrical Safety Management Plan. Implementation of specific procedures and guidelines by Faculties/Divisions/Institutes is to be a planned and ongoing process through local committees with advice from the OH&S Division.

Director, Health, Safety and Wellness Mr Jim Carmichael
Director, Property and Facilities Mr Fabby Ernesta