The introduction of residual-current devices (RCD) into domestic installation electrical circuits has helped reduce electrocutions in Australia. The statistics for deaths from electrocution has declined gradually since 1955 according to 'The Institute of Electrical Engineers'. Much has been done to protect people from electrical hazards that we face in our everyday lives. Furthermore workplace health and safety (WHS) guidelines are mandatory across Australia, which has strengthened 'duty of care' regulations for employers to ensure their staff are working in safe environments.
Residual-current devices are also called safety switches in Australia. The products still operate with the same purpose of disconnecting the circuit if a fault, such as a short circuit is detected. Therefore a residual current device is designed to prevent electrocution to people that contact energised electric equipment and earth. The RCD will immediately cut power with the intention of saving lives.
RCDs monitor the circuit's current between a positive conductor and negative conductor for an imbalance of earth leakage current. If there is a leakage the RCD will trip a.k.a disconnect power, eliminating potential electrical hazards. The trip time and current leakage values are fixed and you'll find them on product specifications, for example, less than 100 milliseconds and 30mA respectively.
RCD protection is available in several types to suit optimum safety requirements for consumers. There are portable, fixed and combination RCD solutions to select from. People needing portable solutions can utilise inline safety switch extension cords and RCD power boards. The latter are ideal for tradesmen, sales staff, handymen, technicians, as well as for electrical hand tools, bariatric hospital products and office equipment. Additionally mobile hydro bath operators can us a portable plugin RCD a.k.a RCD inline safety switch, for instance, especially ideal for potential hazards involving water where a fault can occur between active and neutral.
It's common for residual-current devices to be orange or yellow in colour. These colours are typically selected as safety awareness for high visibility and standard colours for protective products.
Finally to see some examples of residual-current devices follow the links below:
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