Energy Safe Victoria
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Never work live

Life’s fragile. Don’t blow it. Never work live.

Never work live on switchboards or any electrical installation. Always disconnect the electricity supply before starting work. Isolate and test before you touch.

There’s no excuse for cutting corners, even when you’re under pressure.

Don’t risk electrocution or serious injury – you may not get a second chance.

This message is for all registered electrical contractors, licensed electricians and other licence holders.

Victoria’s Electricity Safety Act 1998 (the Act) requires that contractors and electricians do not expose themselves to unnecessary risks. Contractors and electricians must disconnect the power supply or take adequate precautions to prevent electric shock or injury.

Working safely

Before starting work speak to the customer and agree on a suitable time to disconnect the electricity supply.

Don’t be pressured by anybody to work live. If you can’t reach agreement, walk away – you have a right to refuse to work live.


  • Plan and discuss the job
  • Disconnect the electrical supply before starting work
  • Confirm isolations are correct and test with suitable instruments
  • Confirm connections are correct
  • Test completed work for compliance with the wiring rules (AS/NZS 3000)


  • Try to save time by eliminating procedures and risk assessment
  • Allow customers to leave the electricity supply on
  • Work on energised equipment
  • Overlook isolating and proving all equipment and control circuits are safely isolated.

Your responsibilities

As a licensed and registered electrician, you have regulatory responsibilities.

ESV has created a guideline aimed at providing an overview of responsibilities that are now incumbent upon you under the Act and pursuant regulations.

ESV merchandise

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