What do the new wiring regulations as of January 2019 state about RCD protection in commercial premises?

To be precise and quote the wiring regulations precisely;

411.3.3 Additional requirements for socket-outlets and for the supply of mobile equipment for use outdoors In AC systems, additional protection by means of an RCD with a rated residual operating current not exceeding 30 mA shall be provided for:

  • (i) socket-outlets with a rated current not exceeding 32A, and
  • (ii) mobile equipment with a rated current not exceeding 32A for use outdoors.

An exception to (i) is permitted where, other than for an installation in a dwelling, a documented risk assessment determines that RCD protection is not necessary.

What does that mean?

It is not clear in the wiring regulations whether this applies to all premises or only those that are new and designed after January 2019. Previous wiring editions have stated that providing a skilled/instructed worker is using the equipment that no RCD protection is required. However, this new edition and to an extent some previous editions have tightened the regulations and now request a “documented risk assessment”. In short, it is probably easier to install an RCD, especially if any of your devices power mobile equipment for use outdoors.