Incorrect installation of thermal insulation around electrical equipment and accessories

The purpose of this Safety Alert is to highlight the risk of electric shock and the potential fire hazard from the incorrect installation of thermal insulation around electrical equipment and accessories.


The Electrical Safety Office and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland are investigating the fatality of an insulation installer. A second person assisting with the work received an electric shock and burns.

It appears that a staple used to fix foil insulation in the roof space of a home may have pierced an electric cable which energised the foil.

Contributing factors

Employers, workers and contractors must be aware of the potential for fatal electric shock whilst installing foil insulation within roof spaces, and the fire hazard potential caused by incorrectly installing thermal insulation around electrical accessories.

Action required

Installers must install all bulk insulation in compliance with Australian insulation installation standard,  AS 3999-1992.

Diagram shows the default minimum clearances for recessed luminaries

Risk assessment

Anyone entering a roof space should conduct a risk assessment to determine possible hazards prior to starting work.

Further information

Information bulletins


This Safety Alert contains safety information following inquires made by NT WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of NT WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident. NT WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up-to-date and does not accept any liability for the information in this report or as to its use.

This Safety Alert contains information reproduced with permission from WorkSafe Victoria and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.