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Requirement for Residual Current Devices

Date: 21 April 2015

From 1 January 2013 requirements for residual current devices (RCDs) applied to workplaces where ?plug in? electrical equipment (electrical equipment supplied with electricity through a socket outlet) is used in the following operating environments:

  • electrical equipment is exposed to operating conditions that are likely to result in damage to the equipment (or a reduction in its expected life span) including conditions that involve exposure to moisture, heat, vibration, mechanical damage, corrosive chemicals or dust.
  • electrical equipment is moved between different locations in circumstances where damage to the equipment or to a flexible electricity supply cord is reasonably likely
  • electrical equipment is frequently moved during its normal use
  • electrical equipment forms part of, or is used with, an amusement device.

If electricity is supplied through a socket outlet that does not exceed 20 amps, then the RCD must have a tripping current that does not exceed 30 milliamps. This does not apply if the supply of electricity to the electrical equipment:

  • does not exceed 50 volts alternating current
  • is direct current
  • is provided through an isolating transformer that provides at least an equivalent level of protection
  • is provided from a non earthed socket outlet supplied by an isolated winding portable generator that provides at least an equivalent level of protection.

Information about the advantages and disadvantages of different kinds of non portable and portable RCDs are described in Appendix B in the code of practice Managing electrical risks at the workplace.

You may need to seek technical advice from a competent person about the kinds of RCDs that are appropriate for your workplace.

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