The difference between a PSOA and a domestic power board

If you walk onto a construction site with a power board, make sure it is a PSOA (standing for “portable socket outlet assembly”).

PSOAs are set apart from the average domestic power board (known as “EPODS” or “electrical portable outlet device”) by several factors, which make PSOAs much more robust and safe to use on a busy job site.

In Australia and New Zealand, a power board on a construction site must be a PSOA and marked as complaint with AS/NZS 3012. Domestic power boards are off-limits.

A PSOA must also:

  • Be equipped with an RCD (residual current device), protecting the user by quickly breaking the circuit in the event of a faultt to earth.
  • It must be fixed with a flexible lead/plug of no longer than two metres. The lead must comply with AS3191.

When it comes to leads, Powersafe chooses braided leads considering the added risk of working on a construction or demolition site.

If you are connecting a RCBO to an inverter generator or portable inverter the PSOA must be monitoring for both a.c. and DC pulse residual current (a Type A RCD), such as featured on Powersafe’s Type A range of PSOAs.

Powersafe has published a poster which displays how power boards and leads are to be used on a construction site according to Australian standards. For a password to this poster online, contact Powersafe – phone or email.