Oct 23, 2012

Electricity Extension Cables

To support or not to support your electrical extension cables seems to be the question.
But is the question relevant?

Electricity by its very nature is a danger, you cannot see, hear or smell it, but it can and does kill. Most companies have now accepted the fact that leads and electrical tools used in construction must be inspected and tagged every 3 months and in workshops every 6 months. Now the driver for the testing was the AS/NZS 3012:2003 Electrical Installations – Construction and demolition sites - an Australian New Zealand Standard. Most of us have clauses in our contracts whereby
we agree to follow all Legislation, Regulations, codes of practice and AS/NZ Standards.

Well then this may be a news flash to many of you:
AS/NZS 3012:2003 2.6.9 Protection of flexible cords or cables.
Flexible cords or cables shall not be subject to mechanical damage, damage by liquids or damage by high temperatures.

Where flexible cords or cables are more than 4m from the electrical equipment that they supply, or are not in view of the person using the electrical equipment, they shall be:
(a) provided with suitable protection against, or located where they are not subjected to, mechanical damage, damage by liquids or damage by high temperatures; or
(b) supported off the floor or ground on stands or hangers covered with material that is non-conducting and will prevent mechanical damage to the cable.

I have for a long time heard companies procrastinate on this issue, saying that once it’s law they will start to take action - well, now you know it is clearly covered by a A/NZ Standard, so lets see cables being protected correctly. As we all know we have a “duty of care” under the HSE Act, which means we have to “take all practicable steps”.

By following this standard, you have just taken another practicable step. Now I fully know at this point most companies will be saying “OK, the OSHMAN has highlighted a problem, but as usual no solutions”. Well it’s no accident that this article appears on this page as the products shown here are a tremendous solution to the problem. stoA have been supplying hangers and a tangle free Lead Management System in Australia and New Zealand for some time and I fully endorse the products.

As a side note the Lead Management System can be used with the cable wound in without risk of it causing a fire. Now that is a real bonus.