Test and tag is the process that checks the safety of electrical equipment, tools, and even portable appliances at workplaces. This also ensures compliance with the following legislation.
- Electrical Safety Regulation 2013
- AS/NZ 3012 Electrical Installation – Construction and Demolition Sites
- AS/NZ 3760 In-service Safety Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment.
This process involves two parts:
- First part: Visually inspecting electrical equipment for possible damages.
- Second part: Electrical testing with the use of Portable Appliance Tester to ensure the equipment is electrically safe.
Once these two parts are done, the equipment is placed with a durable tag that indicates it has been tested, who conducted the testing, the date of testing, and when the next test will be.
What are the different legislations that apply?
The safety of the workers and other occupants is the primary reason why testing and tagging is legislated in workplaces. It is legislated by the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (OSH Act).
They prescribed facility managers, employers, main contractors, and self-employed persons to ensure that every electrical equipment and residual current device (RCDs) at their workplace are tested, safe, and maintained by a skilled person.
Below are the legislations that apply to different workplaces.
For construction sites
- Regulation 3.60 – this requires all RCDs to be tested regularly and maintained in a safe working condition.
- Regulation 3.61 – this requires the self-employed person, employer, and/or main contractor to ensure that the workplace is compliant with the Australian Standard AS/NZS 3012:2003 Electrical installations – Construction and demolition sites.
- Regulation 3.62 – this requires all portable electrical equipment and portable RCDs on both construction and demolition sites to be tested and tagged. The tag should show the name of the tester, the date of testing and tagging, and the next date of testing. If the test was done by a licensed electrician, their license number must be included in the tag.
- Regulation 3.63 – this requires any equipment brought by workers to the site to be tested first under AS/NZS 3012:2003 before use.
For all other workplaces
- Regulation 3.60 – this requires RCDs to be regularly tested and kept in a safe working condition.
- Regulation 4.37 – this deals with the duties of using electrical equipment and RCDs at workplaces aside from construction and demolition sites. A self-employed person, facility manager, employer, and main contractor must see to it that all electrical equipment and RCDs are checked, tested, and inspected to avoid risks of injury or harm at the workplace.
What types of equipment require a test and tag?
Any portable electrical equipment including RCDs used in workplaces requires regular testing and tagging.
Test and tag interval for electrical equipment
The interval of testing and tagging electrical equipment can vary depending on the situation in the workplace.
Here’s a sample of the test and tag interval for electrical equipment.
- For Construction and demolition sites – intervals must comply with AS/NZS 3012:2003.
- For other workplaces – risk management may be required to determine the type of testing and if it’s necessary.
For further information about this, talk to us and we’ll help you determine the right interval of testing and tagging your electrical equipment.
Who can conduct the test and tag of electrical equipment?
According to AS/NZS 3760:2010, aside from licensed electricians, a competent person can also conduct the testing and tagging of electrical equipment. As long as that person has undergone a test and tag course and knows how to use a Portable Appliance Tester (PAT).
There are key skills that apply to both competent persons and licensed electricians.
- Ability to distinguish between double insulated and earthed electrical equipment; and determine which is the appropriate testing for them.
- Do not attempt testing electrical equipment that is beyond their limitation, skills, and knowledge.
- Fully understand the OSH regulation.
- Skilled in using relevant testing tools; and can interpret and record the results.
In case electrical equipment fails the test, it must be removed from the workplace. A tag with a warning not to use that equipment anymore must be attached to it.
Need help in testing and tagging the electrical equipment in your workplace?
Call DCI Electrical and book an appointment. We can help you.
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