Testing & Tagging
Under Australian legislation, it is required that all electrical tools and equipment in the workplace are tested and tagged. How often the inspection and testing is conducted will depend on the kind of workplace along with the risks of the electrical equipment available in the premises. It can be as often as three months to six months. The AS/NZS 3760: 2010 outlines the regulations thoroughly.
Testing and Tagging is the term given to the process of checking the electrical appliances to ensure safety in the electrical system. Test and tag involves two phases. First, electrical appliances are checked for any possible physical damage before it will undergo electrical testing using a Portable Appliance Tester. Once the items are checked, a tag is placed to confirm that items have undergone testing, who tested it, the date of testing, and the schedule of the next test.
Testing and tagging of electrical appliances are primarily implemented to ensure the personal safety of employees in contact with the appliances in the workplace and to lessen the risk of electrical hazard. The items to be checked are the following:
- New equipment
- Used equipment
- Equipment that has been repaired
- Equipment from second-hand sale
- Equipment that is for hire.
Needless to say, all the equipment connected to the electrical supply whether it is portable, hand-held or stationery should be tested and tagged.
In Australia, testing and tagging is strictly mandated by the government. In fact, the government implements a national standard for electrical testing and tagging. AS/NZS 3760 is the Australian standard which governs the regulations and guidelines mandated to the test and tag industry in accordance with the electrical safety of electrical appliances. It sets the general guidelines of testing and tagging, defines who are allowed to test and tag, and the proper intervals of appliance testing and tagging.
As mandated by the national standard, all testing and tagging of electrical appliances should be conducted by an approved person. Approved persons include a licensed electrician or a person who has completed the UEENEEP026A and UEENEEE101A competency units. With regards to the frequency of testing, it depends on factors including the environment where the portable appliance is used, how often the employees use the equipment in the workplace and the level of environmental hazard in the workplace. Appliances that are brought from home will also go through the same tagging and testing process. Test and tag inspection records should be kept by the administrative unit, the technician or a person who is authorized.
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