Across the two years from 2014-2016, 1,065 people were hospitalised with an electrical injury. 47% of these people were injured while doing their work.
The best way to prevent people from coming into contact with electrical hazards at work is to make sure you regularly test your equipment and appliances for damage and faults. The AS/NZS 3760 is the Australian Standard that regulates the test and tag industry; it issues guidelines around ensuring electrically safe workplaces.
These testing and tagging Australian standards regulate the testing of 240V, 3 phase and low voltage electrical equipment. Regulations centre on the frequency of testing and tagging, inspection, testing specifications, and keeping records. It also includes equipment and appliances bought into workplaces – think battery and laptop chargers. In addition, they clarify who can carry out a test and tag service.
There’s a method to verify how safe portable electrical equipment is. First, professionals perform a visual inspection to ensure:
Secondly, they test it using a Portable Appliance Tester. The equipment then gets tagged to confirm the assessment. This tag details who performed the test on what date and the date the next test is required.
As a legislative condition of Australian workplaces, the standard secures the safety of your workers who come into contact with the appliance. Regulation differs from state to state, and you can find your state control here:
You don’t need a tag and test if your equipment is new because the responsibility rests with the supplier. However, if your workplace does require testing of new equipment, a ‘New to Service’ tag tells you it hasn’t been tested but will need to be in future.
While mobile phones don’t fall into the WHS responsibility, it’s a good idea to include them in your annual test. Cheap chargers can combust or cause electric shocks, so a test and tag can minimise risk.
Regarding what needs testing, any device with a flexible cable, a removable plug, and doesn’t exceed 50V. This covers extension leads, cord sets and portable residual-current devices. Electrical appliances come in two classes: Class I is an earthed appliance like an iron, kettle or toaster. Class II are double insulated appliances like an electric drill or hairdryer (look out for the square in a square symbol to identify these). On building sites, all power tools need electrical tagging and testing to conform to standards.
The frequency of testing hinges on the kind of environment the appliance is in and the kind of work it does. Individual workplaces need to determine their testing schedule, but here are some ideas to start.
Every Three Months
Every Six Months
Every Twelve Months
Every Five Years
Environments where electrical appliances and cords tend to be flexible
The person who tests your equipment and appliances must be ‘competent.’ This means they must have relevant qualifications, experience and training. If in doubt, turn to a Master Electrician who can carry out the tests to the top standard.
Look for the following skills to determine expertise, and have confidence they can:
Reduce risk at your workplace: schedule monthly maintenance of your electrical hazards with us. Our rigorous and specialised regime meets the AS/NZS 3760 standards of an electrical test and tag. Keep your employees safe and ensure no risk of electrical hazard or shock. For highly competent expertise, call our qualified electrical team today.