Guidance about working with low voltage (LV) electricity

What is low voltage (LV) electricity?

Low voltage (LV) electricity means electrical energy at voltages exceeding 32 Volt AC or 115 Volt DC, but not exceeding 1000 Volt AC or 1500 Volt DC.

In alternating current (AC), the flow of electric charge periodically reverses direction, whereas in direct current (DC), the flow of electric charge is in one direction.

When working on LV installations it is a mandatory requirment to comply with Building and Energy's Code of practice for persons working on or near energised electrical installations.

Fault currents

Fault currents of up to 20 times the rated current of a supply transformer can flow for short times during fault conditions. Arcs can be produced under these conditions with enough energy to cause an explosion or melt metallic switchboard cubicles and cause severe burns to skin.

Electrical workers should also be aware that circuit protection may not operate in such circumstances.

Building and Energy's Safe working guidelines for electrical workers prescribes principles and methods for the organisation and performance of safe work on electrical installations.

Flash risk

It is recommended that sites conduct an arc flash risk assessment on their LV switchboard installations to understand and manage the electric arc flash hazard.