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Posted By Topic: Accessing MSB's for thermal imaging

Dec 03 2018 11:42

I been asked if a non registered person can legally remove panels on a MSB's to take thermal images.
This is more than just opening a hinged cabinet doors, this is removing masking panels on live MSB's.
For large MSB's I would have said no but on small DB's I'm not sure?
Does it make a difference if they have limited registration?

Dec 03 2018 12:42

Depends how limited.

Threree's NO doubt that accessing live parts is PEW.
The condition that makes them electrically safe is that they are protected by barriers / enclosures[1.5.4]. Installing that protection is PEW. Removing the protection, unless all parts within have been isolated & then proven safe, must also be PEW.

There's NO difference in principle between large & small swbds. but from a safety perspective TI on a large swbd requires 2 people; and some would suggest one can be working under supervision of the (licenced) other. But not true, as a "person under supervision [Section 76 of Act] isn't allowed to work on anything that's connected to supply in any way - let alone live. Basicallyu anyone not licenced to be working on the equipment shouldn't be witghin arm's reach of it; they need to be on the other side of the (mandatory) "risk of shock" signs [ESR 18A].

The actual TI process isn't PEW, but providing access so it can happen is. Alternatively, have to shut down the premises while it happens - with hugely increased costs combined with reducing effectiveness as residual heat dissipates. Which is what is being forced in places like WA & QLD, with their "Absolutely NO live work" rules.


Dec 03 2018 13:46

Thanks for the reply, it's helped give me a better understanding.