Electrical regulations that affect medical clinics

The increased use of electrically-operated medical equipment for diagnosis, therapy and monitoring has brought about a greater risk of danger to patients and the people who care for them. If such medical equipment is not correctly installed, operated and maintained, there is a significant potential for physical harm to a person, for the failure of a medical or surgical procedure, or for the misdiagnosis of a patient’s condition, among a multitude of other hazards.

Due to this increased risk, medical clinics are subjected to strict governance that must be complied with to ensure the safety of patients and staff. Electrical regulations that apply to medical fit-outs, whether entirely new installations or upgrades to existing settings, demand as much consideration as the regulatory requirements of the medical equipment being implemented.

AS/NZS 3003:2018 and AS/NZS 2500:2020 are the two most relevant and important Australian industry standards for medical fit-outs. These standards provide guidance on the correct installation, usage and monitoring of electrically-operated medical equipment and are primarily concerned with mitigating electric shock hazards in patient areas within medical facilities.

Some areas within a clinic require more stringent regulations than others. Standard AS/NZS 3003:2018 specifies that practice owners must evaluate what medical activities and procedures will occur in each area and take steps to implement the appropriate electrical safety requirements. All patient areas must be classified as body-protected or cardiac-protected areas, and the electrical wiring systems must reflect these classifications.

Body-protected areas are any rooms or locations inside a clinic where a patient can be treated or consulted using regular low-voltage electrical medical equipment, while cardiac-protected areas are those where cardiac electrical equipment is used, such as operating theatres and intensive care units. Offices, storage rooms, laboratories and other areas from which a patient is normally excluded do not fall under the same level of compliance.

While the classification of patient areas as either body-protected or cardiac-protected is the responsibility of the practice owner, electrical tradespeople are responsible for the correct installation of wiring and protection systems based on these classifications. Ensuring that the clinic adheres to safe procedures comes down to choosing the right contractors and suppliers to complete the installation.

The team at Medelec are licensed electrical specialists, and with over 15 years of experience in the medical field, our extensive knowledge means any fit-out will be installed in accordance with industry regulations. Better still, we won’t compromise on design to meet regulations as our unrivalled expertise means we can offer the perfect balance between function and form.

We are experts in planning, fitting and delivering unique and compliant turnkey projects based on your clinic’s specific electrical needs. Talk to our team today about how we can power your practice. Contact Us – Perth – Medelec.

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