In a move welcomed by the dental industry, dental chair installers in Victoria will face less red tape following a decision by the state’s electrical regulator, Energy Safe Victoria (ESV), to no longer require dental chair installations to be certified in some circumstances.
Until recently, ESV had maintained that it was necessary for dental chair installations to be installed by an electrician and then inspected by a licensed electrical inspector—even when these chairs were connected to the electricity supply using a standard 240V/10A power outlet.
Yet from a risk perspective, the Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA) had always deemed this requirement to be excessive and unwarranted.
“Given the robust nature of the regulated standards pertaining to dental chairs and the method of connection to the electricity supply, ESV’s approach was inconsistent with a risk-based approach to regulation,” ADIA chief executive officer Troy Williams said.
“It really did appear to be a case of excessive government red tape which increased costs for business without any measurable benefit.”
ADIA’s representations to the ESV were made in the context that dental chairs are considered a medical device and thus subject to the regulatory standards of the Therapeutic Goods Administration. These require that medical devices—and by extension dental chairs—must not compromise health and safety when used.
“With the support of our members, ADIA’s advice to ESV was that the regulatory requirement that dental chairs be installed by an electrician and inspected by a licensed inspector was excessive in circumstances where a dental chair plugs into a standard electrical outlet. ESV has accepted this advice,” Williams said.
He added that ESV advised ADIA that a strict interpretation of the legislation appears to require the installation of a plug-in dental chair be carried out by an electrician and inspected by a licensed electrical inspector. However, the regulator is willing to accept that this is not necessary provided the dental chair is of a plug-in type, and is assembled and installed by a competent technician.
“ADIA has welcomed the responsiveness of ESV to the concerns of industry and its demonstrated commitment to reducing unnecessary red tape faced by the dental industry,” Williams said.