If you need a body-protected electrical area on your property, you must hire a qualified electrician with the skills to undertake the job safely.

The correct process is life or death essential, so here's what you need to know to hire the right people to fulfil your requirements.

What is Body/Cardiac Protected Electrical Area?

‍Body/cardiac protected electrical areas cover the installation and maintenance of equipment and systems in medical facilities (including hospitals, aged care, allied health care, medical and dental services).

This includes medical facilities where patients are diagnosed, monitored or treated using electricity-powered medical equipment. 

Every Powerpoint must have a specialty switch and wiring (circuit) leading back to the switchboard within these areas. The switches are called 10mA RCDs, and are much more sensitive to earth leakage currents than those used in residential or office spaces. 

This means they will turn off at the slightest hint of a fault and, therefore, protect staff and patients from being shocked while equipment is in use.

Having a separate circuit (its wiring connecting to the switchboard) for each powerpoint also assures that if one is tripped, it will not cause many others to lose power simultaneously.

Why is a body-protected electrical area so important in medical facilities?

There are many reasons why a body and cardiac-protected electrical area is necessary in medical facilities. 

In some cases, loss of power due to a power trip can even be life-threatening. For example, if you are in a ward or intensive care unit, you're likely using life-sustaining equipment that needs to remain in working order to keep you alive and well.

Imagine the implications of a cleaner performing their routine duties, unaware that their vacuum cleaner has an fault that causes the power to trip when plugged into a powerpoint. In this setting, there are only one or two safety switches for the whole property, so such a situation would cause large sections of the building to lose power. 

To reset the safety switch, someone would have to find the main switchboard, unlock it, find the right circuit breaker and reset it. In this time, the ventilators sustaining the lives of many critically ill patients will not have had power.

This scenario would never happen in compliant areas where powerpoints have their own safety switch. The cleaner would use the dedicated power source labelled for their use and wired separately back to the main switchboard.

For outlets used to power medical equipment, all safety switches are integrated into special power points with testing capability and indicator lights. If the safety switch is tripped, resetting can be almost immediate, and any faulty equipment can be quickly identified and isolated.

From this scenario alone, you get an idea of how important it is to comply with these standards.

Do you need Body & Cardiac Protected Electrical?

‍If you have a facility that runs medical equipment for diagnosing, treating or monitoring any person, you will need the task undertaken by a qualified electrician.

This isn't just a strong recommendation; it's required by Victorian Law.

AS/NZS 3003: 2018 is the mandatory installation standard for patient areas in hospitals and medical facilities for electricians undertaking new work, alterations, additions and repairs to patient areas classified as body or cardiac-protected.

These facilities include:

  • Hospitals.
  • Medical or dental practices.
  • Specialised allied health treatment clinics

How often do you need your body-protected electrical areas checked?

‍Any facility requiring body-protected electrical must be regularly maintained to ensure everything is safely functioning. The Australian/New Zealand Standard (AS/NZS) outlines compliance on over 80 points for any completed work in these areas. 

It also states that routine testing by a professional needs to be undertaken at intervals not exceeding 12 months.


Do I need a specialised electrician to complete the work?

‍To ensure your work is up to the required standard and is in compliance with Victorian regulations, you will need to hire a qualified electrician.

It's best to ask if they are familiar with this work before booking to ensure the job will be completed quickly and to a high standard. There is no room to cut corners; doing so could cause serious injury and, in some cases, be lethal. 

We recommend looking at our document ['How to choose an electrician'] to ensure you ask all the relevant questions and ensure whichever A-grade electrician you hire is up to the task. 

Make a Booking With Us Today

Here at 181 Electrical, we have a skilled crew who are experienced in completing body-protected electrical work. 

They are qualified, A-grade electricians and are familiar with the standard required for this type of work.

So why wait? Get in touch via the button below or give us a call today to book your appointment.

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