Use electrical items safely

So far this year, we’ve received five riskware reports about staff and contractors being exposed to electricity and electrical hazards.

These reports highlight that we should all remain vigilant around electrical items, handle items with care, and avoid charging equipment near water sources and other hazards.

Frequently used items, such as phone chargers and mobile electrical devices, should be regularly inspected for obvious signs of damage.

A safety-first approach

Apply these electrical tips when working on campus or in your home office:

  • isolate and do not use electrical cords that are damaged
  • consider alternatives to placing extension cords and other potential trip hazards on the floors of work and learning spaces, including home offices
  • during annual test and tag processing, assist Facilities Management and their electricians to locate all electrical items for testing
  • always use a licensed electrician to fix electrical items at home
  • do not bring additional personal items on to campus, such as heaters and sandwich makers
  • do not overload power boards
  • use equipment such as Residual Currency Devices (RCD) when using electrical items outdoors.

If you notice an electrical defect when on campus, stop using the equipment and seek advice from Facilities Management via Service Central for guidance about what actions to take.

Emergencies on campus

In the event of electrical and other first aid emergencies on campus, follow these four steps:

  1. Do not touch the impacted person/equipment to avoid the electrical charge moving through you.
  2. Call the closest staff First Aid Officer and triple zero (000) about life-threatening emergencies.
  3. Turn off the power point or protected switchboard, if it is safe to do so, and contact Facilities Management for support.
  4. Notify the ACU National Security Centre (SafeZone) 1300 729 452 about the 000 call.

In the event of an electrical incident in the home, follow Step 1, immediately contact triple zero and turn off the power point (if safe to do so).

Reporting through riskware

Remember to submit reports of electrical, other incidents, or hazards within the online portal riskware and engage your supervisor about complex issue reports.

Incidents, together with work- and learning-related illnesses, will be reviewed for WHS risk by the relevant supervisor.

Assessing and managing WHS risk

Work areas should conduct WHS risk assessments about electrical and other hazards whenever the safety issues (hazards and associated WHS risks) and solutions are not immediately obvious and there are no established ways to manage the issues.

More information
WHSMS managing Electrical Risks Procedure
Safety Hub – videos about electrical and office safety
Common electrical hazards in the home
WHS Risk Management Procedure


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