For our friends in Adelaide, we hope you had a fantastic time at the Royal Adelaide Show last weekend! It’s always a great event filled with fun and excitement. However, if you were one of the exhibitors at the show, here’s a friendly reminder: did you know that all your electrical appliances used for the show need to undergo proper testing?
Most events will require the use of electricity, either from mains supplies or from temporary sources like generators. However, it also hides the potential for significant risks, including accidents, injuries, and fires. That’s why safeguarding electrical safety should be at the top of every event organiser’s to-do list. Whether orchestrating a small exhibition or a massive gathering, here’s how to navigate the complex landscape of event electrical safety.
Let’s explore into how Australian Standards play a pivotal role in safeguarding events. For instance, suppose you’re in charge of managing a small exhibition stand replete with computers and demo equipment. The Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760 for in-service safety inspection of electrical equipment (commonly known as Portable Appliance Testing or PAT) should be your guiding light. It ensures that all electrical equipment is safe for use. Every device should undergo regular testing and tagging to validate its safety.
Careful examination of cables and plugs is crucial. They must be free from visible damage or missing parts. Ensuring that the electrical supply adheres to AS/NZS 3012 – Electrical Installations – Construction and demolition sites is vital. It should be installed and verified by a competent person and equipped with essential safety elements like Residual Current Devices (RCDs). The supply must have adequate capacity to handle the anticipated load without overloading.
Event setups often involve various cables laid out across the venue. It’s imperative to consider the possibility of these cables getting damaged during the setup or the event itself, such as by vehicles running over them. Australian Standards prescribe certain practices to mitigate these risks. Moreover, any combustible materials in close proximity to electrical distributions must be strictly controlled to eliminate fire hazards.
When it comes to mains power distribution, events should adhere to Australian Standard AS/NZS 3002 – Electrical Installations – Shows and carnivals. This standard provides comprehensive guidelines for temporary power installations. It specifies the standards and checks that your electrical contractor should adhere to. The key aspect is the involvement of a Senior Person Responsible (SPR), who should be electrically competent, in signing off the electrical system.
If your event takes place in a permanent venue or an urban area, chances are you can access mains power. In such cases, the main responsibility lies with your subcontractor, if you’ve engaged one, to manage power distribution safely. They should provide comprehensive risk assessments and other safety documentation, including power layout and distribution plans. Your role is to verify that your subcontractor is competent and implements effective control measures. Ensuring that all workers on-site are briefed and aware of these control measures is vital.
However, if you’re managing power distribution independently or scrutinising your subcontractor’s paperwork, here are some factors to consider. Are the technicians installing the equipment adequately trained and experienced? Has all the equipment, including distribution boxes and cables, been regularly inspected and tested to ensure it’s defect-free? Does the distribution system include adequate RCDs and other relevant safety mechanisms? Is the mains supply capable of handling the equipment’s power demands? Additionally, consider emergency power requirements, such as emergency lighting. The layout of the site should incorporate safe cable routing, especially concerning pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Environmental conditions, particularly outdoors, should be factored in; all power distribution components must be properly designed and IP-rated.
For events relying on generators, Australian Standard AS/NZS 3010 – Electrical Installations – Generating Sets provides crucial guidance. In addition to the earlier considerations, evaluate the generator’s maintenance and suitability for its intended purpose. Proper earthing of generators is essential, and backup generators for critical systems should be considered. Fuel storage and refueling procedures should be well-planned, especially if fuel is stored onsite. Generators should be positioned safely, away from public areas, structures, and flammable materials, with access restricted to authorised personnel only.
In essence, compliance with Australian Standards is non-negotiable when it comes to ensuring electrical safety at events. These standards provide a comprehensive framework for assessing, mitigating, and managing electrical risks. By thoroughly following these guidelines, event organisers can create a secure environment where attendees can enjoy the experience without worrying about electrical hazards.
Ensuring the safety and functionality of your equipment is crucial, not only for compliance but also for the well-being of everyone at the event. At Testel, we specialise in providing testing and tagging services to make sure your appliances are in perfect working order. So, whether you’re a seasoned exhibitor or a first-timer, let us help you ensure the safety and success of your display.
If you would like to learn more about how we can assist you in managing electrical compliance for all your sites, please contact us now on 1300 881 116.
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