In a recent Queensland work safety incident, a telecommunications worker received burns when he came into contact with a rodent-damaged cable while installing CCTV in a ceiling space. While the exact cause of the incident is still being investigated, the incident highlights the hazards of working in ceiling spaces.
If you or your workers need to work in a ceiling or roof space, make sure you turn off all the main power switches at the switchboard first. You should have a good isolation procedure to facilitate this.
Even with the power off at the switchboard, avoid contact with electrical cables and equipment as some circuits, like service lines and solar PV cables, will still be live.
Ceiling space hazards
We consider that ceiling spaces should always be considered as restricted areas as they present many risks. If you do need to enter a space you should cognisant of the hazards present in the particular space (particularly services like electrical supply).
It is a good idea to use torches and cordless tools so you don’t need power when you’re working in the ceiling space.
Ceiling space hazards include (but be not limited to):
- solar PV systems have supply cables that may be live during daylight hours
- battery energy storage systems and uninterruptable power supply (UPS) systems may have live cables
- damaged electrical cables or equipment
- insulation material covering electrical fittings or equipment (unless the electrical equipment is designed to be covered by insulation such as an IC-4 rated luminaire)
- heat, working at height, dangerous vermin, sharp objects and asbestos containing materials.
Learn more about working on roofs and in ceiling spaces or call Safetysure Consultants on 1300087888 for more information on how you can prevent injuries and illnesses of working in ceiling spaces.
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