Equipotential earthing study: Equipotential wiring is unnecessary

Kathryn Pui Tse Foong*, A. Watson, A. Avolio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was undertaken to determine the ongoing need for Equipotential (EP) earthing as required in AS/NZS 3003, section 4.4.2. A total of 2279 earth points were tested in four clinical institutions in Body Protected areas (as defined in AS/NZS 3003). Each earth point was tested for potentials existing in the earthing in order to assess whether any potentials exceeded the 100 mV requirement of AS/NZS 3003 for EP earthing. The voltage measured was 1.21 mV +/- 3.59 mV, (mean +/- standard deviation (SD)), with a of 99% confidence interval between 1.0 mV and 1.4 mV. This study suggests that the requirements for EP earthing in section 4.4.2 of AS/NZS 3003 are unnecessary. It is further suggested that Standards Australia review these requirements with the view of withdrawing them from the Standard.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-154
Number of pages4
JournalAustralasian Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Earthing
  • Electrical standards
  • Equipotential
  • Micro-electrocution


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