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Electrical Requirements in Health Care

There are many compliance issues faced by businesses and property owners/managers everyday and it is difficult to know which Australian Standards apply to you. A great example of this situation, is the requirements of AS3003:2011 – “Electrical Installations for Patient Areas”. The standard sets out requirements for new electrical installations, additions and repairs of existing electrical installations in “patient areas”. AS3003:2011 sets out additional requirements to those laid out in AS3000:2007 – “Australian wiring rules” and many electrical contractors are unfamiliar with the requirements. Today, we will briefly touch on a few key points of the Standard and how it may relate to health care facilities.

What is a patient area?

A patient area is described in the standard as –

“Locations where it is intended that low voltage medical electrical equipment will be used on a patient.”

Examples of facilities that may contain patient areas:

Accident and emergency wards, chiropractic and physiotherapy rooms, dental surgeries, patient ensuites, bathrooms, showers, toilets etc. Doctors consulting rooms, Nursing Homes.

Who is responsible and when?

If you are the health care professional, or person in charge of such facilities, it is your responsibility to ensure compliance with the standard and to classify and maintain the patient areas. If you are considering renovations or upgrades to your facility, you should consult with a Biomedical professional to appropriately classify potential patient areas, prior to commencing works. Over several years, Able has been exposed to the medical and health care industry and our technicians have the skill set required to assist you and your biomedical professional in ensuring compliance with the standard.

What are the inspection requirements for your facility?

The standard sets out the requirements for the routine inspection and testing of Patient areas and requires that these areas be subjected to routine inspections at intervals not exceeding 12 months. Compliance is not intended to establish failures with the installation but to assist in controlling the risks associated with electrical hazards. Verification items include, but are not limited to:

Correct use of type 1 safety switches used as LPD’s – Type 1 devices are required to operate in less 40milli seconds at 10milli amps or less. This is not to be confused with the requirements of the commonly used type 2 device.Labelling and identification of circuits and outlets. This is not only good practice but is a requirement of the Standard.Correct use and location of “cleaning” outlets. The standard sets out requirements for the installation of dedicated cleaning outlets. For body protected zones, a dedicated “cleaning outlet” is required with 15mtrs of the patient area.

Should you wish to discuss your facility requirements, give Able a call on 1300 274 005 to schedule a site visit.

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