WorkSafe electrical safety guidelines say to use “extension cords or equipment that are rated for your type of work” (e.g. heavy duty equipment at work).
Basically, that means you should avoid using domestic leads, domestic powerboards / multi-boxes / multi-plugs, domestic plugs or domestic connectors in factories, workshops, places of manufacture, assembly, maintenance or fabrication, or any hostile environment.
Extension cords are for temporary use only
Worksafe says, “Extension cords are intended for temporary use only. If a permanent power source is required where an extension lead is in use, ask a licensed electrician to install a power socket.”
If you’re using an extension cord where you should really have a permanent power source, getting an electrician to install a power socket will reduce your compliance risks. And implementing worksafe electrical safety measures will make your health & safety officer very happy!
Domestic equipment in the workplace
In our experience visiting workplaces all over the country, many businesses (if not most) have multiple domestic leads, plugs, connectors and multi-boards, many of which are hardwired onto tools and machinery.
Worksafe NZ describes the common names for Electrical Portable Outlet Devices (EPODs) as powerboards, multi-plugs and multi-boxes. They’re all the same thing though: multiple electrical sockets mounted onto a portable case that allow you to plug in several appliances to one electrical socket outlet.
Most factories and workshops we’ve been into have domestic heaters and fans too.
A simple remedy for Worksafe electrical safety
When the opportunity presents itself, we recommend replacing domestic extension leads and multi-boards with additional wall sockets.
And it goes without question that all fixed machinery should be hardwired. If it isn’t, get your electrician to remedy that at the same time.
No doubt you will have some domestic equipment that should be replaced ASAP. As older domestic equipment fails or needs replacing, it should be replaced with Heavy Duty or Factory rated equipment.
Comply Guy can identify any leads and equipment that are domestic grade and recommend an appropriate solution. This can be added into your next Appliance Testing Round.
Book your next appliance testing round now…