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.