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What you need to know about regulations in electrical safety New Zealand

Health and safety is a legal requirement in New Zealand.

The framework for maintaining a bottom-line in workplace health and electrical safety is the AS/NZS 3760:2010 - Electrical Safety Standard. In order to meet this standard, organisations and businesses need to regularly tag test, maintain and inspect key appliances (e.g. 2- or 3-pin plug equipment) and be able to produce records for showing steps have been taken under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. 


Legal Regulations

The Electricity Act 1997 contains a number of regulations that reinforce this health and safety obligation. Regulation 69b is particularly relevant:

"Electrical Safety- (1) Works, electrical installations, fittings, electrical appliances, and associated equipment must be designed, constructed, maintained, installed and used so as to be electrically safe".

Penalty structures exist up to $10,000 under the Electricity Regulations and up to $600,000 under s 47 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2016 depending upon the severity of the offence.

Should an electrical accident occur in the workplace, WorkSafe could use non-compliance with standard AS/NZS 3760 as the basis for any prosecution.

 

Health and Safety Regulations

Work Safe places the duty of care on employers and employees to ensure the safety of everybody at work. They require that "as may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, such danger".

Whilst testing is not compulsory, maintaining safety is and unless you have complied with AS/NZS 3760 as a minimum then Work Safe would not consider you have taken all reasonable steps to provide a safe workplace and would likely use non-compliance with AS/NZS 3760 as the basis for prosecution should the need arise.

 

Recently a collaborative between Government ministries and oversight bodies produced this wonderful tool to help businesses keep compliance in check: https://www.business.govt.nz/compliance-matter.

We're available to answer any questions you have about meeting electrical compliance for your business or organisation today.