Preparing to replace light fittings

This guidance for electricians asks questions and uses examples to help remove or reduce the risks to health and safety when replacing light fittings.



You can adapt this example to your own job and help create a safer work environment.

One in three injuries on construction sites involve everyday tools and equipment. So make sure you don’t take shortcuts with your gear and use the right tools for the job.

Take time to prepare your site. Stop, Step back, and Think.

1. Stop

What job needs to be done? Do I have the right tools?

What's the job?

Replacing the light fittings throughout a house.

List the tools you need

  • ladders
  • pliers
  • side cutters
  • screwdriver
  • battery drill
  • tape measure
  • plasterboard saw
  • work lights
  • electrical testers

2. Step back

Take a moment to ask:

Where is the job located?

A family home.

How long will the job take?

3 hours.

How many tradies do I need?

1 electrician.

What do I have to do?

Remove all existing light fittings and replace with new ones.

What's been quoted as part of the job?

  • Materials: light fittings, electrical cable and junction boxes.
  • Remove and replace all existing light fittings.

Will the work impact on others?

Yes. The family will be home all day.

What hazards need to be fixed before I start?

Isolate and lock-out/tag-out lighting circuits.

3. Think

Make sure your equipment is in safe working order. Know what to do when arriving on site.

Are the tools in good condition and appropriate to the task?

No, one step ladder has cracked treads.

Do I have all the right tools and equipment for the job?


What do I need to do before I'm on site?

Get a new step ladder.

What do I need to do when I arrive on site?

  • Isolate and lock-out/tag-out light circuits at the main switchboard before starting work.
  • Isolate one room in the house to unpack lights and leave equipment.
  • Restrict access to work areas.
  • Don’t leave ladders unattended.
  • Test each light fitting with a voltage tester before disconnecting.
  • Confirm that the tester is functional before and after the test by testing on a known live source before and after the test on the electrical installation.

Check Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • eye protection

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