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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin July 2011
19 July 2011 electrical standards – Be aware of which StAnDARDS APPLY tO YOU committee report Australian Dental Association Inc. members should all be aware of the provisions of the current editions of Australian/New Zealand Standards (AS/NZ): • AS/NZ 2500 Guide the safe use of electricity in patient care. Note that AS/NZ 2500‘...is concerned primarily with the electric shock hazard to patients and staff (and also includes) provisions to safeguard against other hazards, e.g., thermal, radiant or mechanical.’ It excludes laboratories, offices, darkrooms, storage and plant and equipment areas. • AS/NZ 3003 Electrical installations – patient treatment areas of hospitals, medical and dental practices and dialysing locations. • AS/NZ 3112 Approval and test specification – plugs and socket- outlets. • AS/NZ 3200 Medical electrical equipment. • AS/NZ 3760 In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment. • AS/NZ 4173 Guide to the safe use of lasers in health care. Standards, per se, are voluntary documents, but are often ‘called up’ in State or Commonwealth legislation. Dentists must therefore be aware of which standards are mandated in their state. For example, in Victoria AS/NZ3003 is mandatory, and the main trigger point for its application is when a piece of surgery equipment is changed, such as commissioning a new bench-top steriliser, which would then mandate a full electrical upgrade of the surgery. If you are planning to commission a new facility, it is essential to ensure that the above standards are met, especially AS/NZ 3003 Electrical installations – patient treatment areas of hospitals, medical and dental practices and dialysing locations. If you are responsible for an existing facility, it would be prudent to upgrade all electrical equipment in areas which patients may be present. Some of the above standards are more relevant to the design and compliance and/or type testing of equipment. However, the main point of which the dentist must be aware is the requirement to maintain the equipment in good condition. The most obvious way to demonstrate ongoing compliance with these standards is by performing maintenance according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. The biggest risk for non-compliance is that not many dentists undertake the ‘tag and test’ regimen. Not all imported units (chairs, X-ray units, etc,) comply with relevant standards. For example, low cost imported items may not have the correct level of earthing for body protection. Compliance with standards is usually clear from either the rating plate or the manufacturer’s documentation. This information should be carefully checked before a purchase is completed and purchasers should be aware that it is their risk if they do not check for compliance. Dentists should also be aware that modifying a piece of equipment, e.g., drilling holes in a light pole to mount a screen, could invalidate compliance with the relevant standard. The manufacturer will have ensured compliance of the equipment at the time of manufacture, but the modification would mean that the unit no longer complies. The interpretation and implementation of the above standards (one of which has four parts) is complex and requires specialist knowledge. It is therefore critical that purchasers of electromedical equipment (which, by definition, includes electrically powered dental equipment) are aware of these standards and that installers are experts in the field. On behalf of the Dental Instruments Materials and Equipment (DIME) Committee “The interpretation and implementation of the above standards...is complex and requires specialist knowledge. It is therefore critical that purchasers of electromedical equipment...are aware of these standards and that installers are experts in the field.”
ADA News Bulletin June 2011
ADA News Bulletin August 2011