Bass Coast OHS is now offering an Electrical Testing and Tagging Service. Learn more about this important safety process.
Why test and tag electrical equipment?
Safety: We all know that electricity can be a killer and very often there is no second chance. With time and usage all electrical equipment and especially cords and plugs suffer from wear and tear. Consequences can be an electrical fire, electric shock and worse case electrocution.
It’s the law: Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 employers must provide and maintain a workplace that is safe and without risks to health. Testing and tagging is part of that duty of care. Plus there are substantials fines for breaching the Act. Finally the trauma that comes with an accident at work is not easy to get over.
On construction sites it is mandatory for all portable electrical tools, leads, RCDs to be tagged.
What does testing and tagging involve?
A visual and tactile inspection of the equipment’s cord, plug and overall condition.
An earth continuity test for Class I equipment
An insulation resistance test
A leakage current test
A polarity test
Safety switch (RCD) testing measures the trip time of the device
Tagging the equipment as passed or failed
Documenting the results of the testing
When to test and tag electrical equipment?
The Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760 prescribes the various frequencies at which equipment must be tested and tagged.
These vary from every three months for portable tools on construction sites to every five years for electrical equipment located in a non-hostile environment and which is not likely to be interfered with during that time.
As a rule new equipment does not require to be tested, however a thorough visual inspection is required in case the equipment was damaged in transit or during unpacking. The equipment is then tagged as “new in service”.
A majority of electric equipment in workplaces would need to be tested and tagged every year or second year.
What equipment needs to be tested?
Basically anything in a workplace that plugs into a power socket and anything fixed on a wall below 2.5 metres from the ground.
IN THE OFFICE • Computer chargers (e.g. laptop) • Portable printers and scanners • Portable lighting, heating and cooling • Portable radios and/or stereos • Portable phone chargers, as well as mobile chargers • Overhead projectors • Data projectors • Electrical whiteboards • Extension leads and power boards • Vacuum cleaners • Steam cleaners
IN THE KITCHEN • Electric fry pans • Toaster ovens and sandwich presses • Un-mounted microwaves • Portable electric mixers • Food processors • Portable electric coffee machine and grinders • Extension leads and power boards • Vacuum/steam cleaners
ACCOMMODATION PLACES (ie: hotels, motels, cabins):• Toasters, kettles and portable cooking equipment • Stereos, radios, DVD players, TVs • Portable lamps and heaters • Hair dryers • Bedside clocks • Electrical blankets • Iron • Extension leads and power boards • Portable phone chargers.
IN SCHOOLS • Computer chargers (including laptops) • Portable printers, scanners and laminators • Overhead projectors • Data projectors • Electric whiteboards • Cooking appliances (e.g. toasters and kettles) • Radios • DVD players • TVs • Portable lamps and heaters • Portable phone chargers • Extension leads and power boards.
ON CONSTRUCTION SITES all portable electrical equipment, leads, powerboards, RCDs must be tested every three months