Saturday, March 19th, 2011
Today, peak Australian electrical industry body, the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), supported a Victorian coroner that found a safety switch and an electrical inspection would have helped prevent the death of a 92-year-old man in 2010.

The man tragically received a fatal electric shock while trying to fix his TV reception and install coaxial cable in the roof and wall cavities of his Hamlyn Heights home in Victoria in February 2010. The Geelong Coroner Ron Saines released his findings into the incident on Wednesday.

NECA chief executive officer, Mr James Tinslay, said the electrical industry supported the coroner’s recommendations and agreed that this tragedy may have been avoided if a safety switch had been installed or an electrical inspection identified dangerous old wiring.

“NECA fully supports the installation of residual current devices or safety switches as they are commonly known in all homes and businesses throughout Australia because they can prevent electrocutions,” Mr Tinslay said.

“It is mandated in the Australian wiring rules for licensed electricians to include residual current devices in all new homes but unfortunately this doesn’t cater for many of the older homes in Austraia. The ageing housing stock in Australia means many homes are not protected and many still have their original wiring which can be very dangerous.”

NECA has commenced a process to work with state-based electrical regulators to introduce new regulations to make it mandatory that every home has a safety switch installed at the time of sale or the commencement of a lease to ensure older houses have the safety devices installed. NECA is also encouraging the state electrical regulators to introduce periodic electrical inspection regimes to help home owners comply with the safety regulations.

“A simple inspection by a licensed electrician could identify whether a home is at risk by having dangerous old wiring or the omission of a safety switch. A regime to inspect homes will detect any serious electrical risks and help keep residents safe.”

Regulations to have safety switches installed at the time of sale or lease already exist in Western Australia and in Queensland and it is time the other states introduced these simple measures to back-capture many of the older houses.

“Having it mandated in each state in Australia so the installation of safety switches is compulsory in all homes will help to reduce the number of electrocutions in Australia. The Western Australian and Queensland governments have made this sensible decision and it is time the other states followed suit,” Mr Tinslay said.

“Australian governments have done this for other life saving measures like seatbelts, pool fences and helmets. It is now time they do the same for electrical safety,” Mr Tinslay said.


Contact Profile

National Electrical and Communications Association - NECA

NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide.
Dominic Feenan - Media and Communications Manager
P: 02 9439 8523
M: 0457 767 328


electricians safety government National Electrical Communications Association safety switches



More Formats

View QR Code