Electrical installation work
By law, any electrical installation work must be done by a licensed electrician
Electrical safety is incredibly important and we all have a part to play.
To protect yourself and your investment its essential that you make sure hiring the right people for the job.
There are various online tolls online tool to check your contractor and trades-person is qualified and/or licensed to do the job or not.
We use electricity for lots of menial tasks, like turning on a light switch, making toast and charging our phones, but we also use it to power important things like medical equipment, traffic control and street lights. We might take it for granted, but electricity is not something to mess around with – it can kill. We all have a responsibility to use electricity safely. Every householder in NSW is legally obliged to keep their home safe, including the way it uses electricity. The same goes for business owners – they are responsible for the electrical safety of their employees and everyone else on premises. This page includes information on:
risks and injuries associated with electricity
Faulty appliances, damaged or worn power cords, power points and household wiring, electrical appliances coming in contact with water and downed power lines can all cause electric shocks. While some shocks are a minor ‘tingle’, others can be much more serious.
Electric shock can cause:
muscle spasms, nausea and vomiting, difficulty breathing,
collapse and unconsciousness palpitations, cardiac arrest and damage to the heart serious and permanent burns to the skin and internal organs related injuries including falls from ladders or scaffolding death fire and explosion.
Electrical installation work
Electricians are required to provide you with a uniquely numbered Certificate of Compliance Electrical Work (CCEW) to show that the work has been tested and complies with the regulations.
They may also need to provide a copy of the CCEW to the electricity network operator or NSW Fair Trading. Often a CCEW is required for warranty purposes for the electrical article that has been installed.
Safety labels for electrical goods
Certain electrical products and appliances must be certified and approved against Australian standards before they can be sold in NSW. This includes electric room heaters and power tools that run from mains power.
Approved appliances will have an approval mark or number. These numbers vary according to the certifying body.
Did you know? NSW Fair Trading conducts shop inspections to ensure electrical equipment sold meets safety requirements. Sellers of unsatisfactory goods may be instructed to suspend sales, recall previously sold goods or face prosecution.
Anyone offering or supplying non-compliant, unapproved or unmarked power tools to the general public risks a maximum penalty of $825,000 for a corporation or $82,500 and/or two years imprisonment for an individual.
Your consumer rights
As a consumer, you have the right to expect that the goods you buy are safe. That’s why we’re here.
Australian Consumer Law requires safety standards to be met before certain goods are sold. These standards include:
the way the good is made
what it contains
how it works
the tests it needs to pass
whether any warnings or instructions need to accompany it.
Individual suppliers who breach Australian Consumer Law can be fined up to $220,000, while corporations can be fined up to $1.1 million.
Report a safety concern
IMPORTANT: If you are injured and require urgent medical assistance, don’t delay - contact your GP or call 000 immediately.
For electrical goods
If you become aware of an unsafe item (including incorrect or absent safety labelling), whether or not anyone has been injured:
1. Alert the supplier about the issue.
2. You can also report it us by calling 13 32 20 or making a complaint online, or report the matter to Product Safety Australia.
Learn about our complaint handling process and view our complaints register.
For mains supply electricity
If you have, or suspect a problem, always contact a licensed electrician.
For major problems, call the emergency number on your electricity bill to arrange to make your electrical installation safe.
If you’re renting, report electrical problems to your landlord or managing agent immediately. These should be repaired as a priority as landlords have a legal obligation to ensure all electrical installations and fittings on their property are kept in safe order.
Report an electrical accident
By law you must report any electrical accident where medical treatment is required. Call your electricity provider or contact the Fair Trading Electrical and Gas Safety Unit on 13 32 20 or via email.
You can send us a letter too at:
Electrical and Gas Unit NSW Fair Trading PO Box 972 PARRAMATTA, NSW 2124
You should include information on the accident (where, when and what happened), and provide contact details so we can get in touch with you.
Employers must also report accidents to SafeWork NSW.
Be a savvy consumer
Most accidents can be avoided if you:
• use care and common sense
• don’t do it yourself – get a professional to do the job
• don’t mix water and electricity
• use a safety switch (see below for more on safety switches).
Electric shock first aid If electric shock occurs:
Remember that the person is electrified until released.
1. Take precautions against receiving a shock yourself by immediately switching off the electricity, where possible.
2. If power cannot be disconnected, unless higher than household voltage is involved, free the victim from contact immediately by using a dry stick, board, rope, clothing, plastic pipe or other non-conducting device. DO NOT touch the victim with your bare hands or any metal or moist object.
3. If possible prevent a fall which may cause further injury.
4. Call for an ambulance or doctor.
The first three minutes are vital. Act immediately! Assess the level of consciousness, then if victim is not breathing, commence resuscitation.