Working in Roof Spaces – Changes to OHS Regulations

Working in Roof Spaces – Changes to OHS Regulations

On the 14th May 2018, new legislation will come into effect outlining the requirements for working in roof spaces. These changes have been put in place to protect workers in roof spaces from being inadvertently exposed to electrical hazards.

Electrical hazards in roof spaces include things like unprotected joins, damaged insulation causing exposed wiring or bad workmanship. If an electrician only turns off the circuit they are working on, they can still be exposed to these hazards on other live circuits.

In short, the legislation requires that ALL WORKERS, whether electricians or not and whether conducting electrical work or not, are required to isolate and lock out the mains power before entering a roof space.

What does this mean for you?

When engaging a worker who is required to work in the roof space, you will need to be prepared to have your whole house power turn off for the duration of the work. If the job is only small or they are required to be in the roof space for a short time, this should not cause any major inconvenience. However, if the job requires the worker to be in the roof space for a longer duration, you will need to plan to be without power for a longer period of time.

You may need to consider things like:

Fridges and freezers
Inability to use household appliances
Resetting of reticulation systems
Inability to operate garage doors
Landlines not working
Essential health equipment power supply

If you are engaging a worker who will need to access your roof space, talk to them to determine how long the power will need to be off. Most of the time, it should only need to be off for a short time however it is always better to plan in advance.

You can find more information on the new legislation by clicking here.

Electricity Costs: DIY energy audit on your home

electricity costs audit
Electricity costs are on the rise.

Electricity costs are rising and with more people switching to solar and becoming less reliant on grid power it is likely they will continue to rise.

Household power consumption has also dramatically increased over the last few decades. Society has become more reliant on electrical products such as computers, televisions, dishwashers etc than ever before.

But how can you work out how much these appliances are costing you to run and how can you use this information to save money?

Conducting your own energy audit

Working out the energy use and electricity costs of an appliance is very simple and you can conduct your an energy audit yourself. All you need is a few pieces of paper, a calculator and a few spare hours. You will also need a recent copy of your electrical bill to identify the cost of your electricity per unit.

Start by doing a “stocktake” of all the electrical appliances in your house. Estimate the usage time for each appliance. For instance, kettles are generally used a few times per day for short periods. Televisions, however, are often for many hours during the day. Don’t forget to include things such as your lights, electric hot water system, fridge, oven etc.

Next, you need to determine the appliances rate of energy consumption. For example, a 1000w appliance will use 1000w for each hour of use.  Most appliances will have a sticker indicating the wattage of the device.

Once you have the wattage, you will need to convert it to kWh. To do this, simply divide the number of watts by 1000. For example, a 60w globe converts to 0.06 kWh.

Finally, multiply the kWh by the number of hours of use each day and multiply this by the cost per kWh as show on your electricity bill. Voila! You now know how much each particular appliance is costing you to run per day. You can then multiply that out to determine the weekly, monthly and annual costs too.

If you are finding your electricity costs are unusually high, try conducting your own energy audit. Otherwise, contact us and we can help you determine the cause.