Understanding Testing and Tagging of Electrical Equipment
Each appliance that has been tested and tagged is then logged. It's a very important thing as it helps to document and ensure the safety of electrical systems, so that the risk of electrical shocks or other problems are minimised as much as possible.
Test and Tag is necessary in order to fulfil the workplace’s risk assessment responsibilities. Test and Tag must be performed regularly.
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As an electrical contractor, Allyn White Electrical does all kinds of industrial and commercial electrical installations and repairs as well as home electrical services and emergency electrical repairs in Brisbane (Alderley, Ashgrove, Bardon, Enoggera, Paddington, The Gap). We are a small family-owned and run business with over 40+ years’ experience so please call us on 041 6235 641. We are here to help.
Who needs to test and tag?
Industries such as construction, demolition and mining are required to have their appliances tested and tagged every 3 months. This is because of the harsh nature of the industry which is likely to damage equipment at a faster rate. For every 3 months of testing, the test and tag colours will change for different periods throughout the year, which effectively make certain months coincide with a specific test tag colour.
With the exception of these industries, testing and tagging is not a legislative requirement for other workplaces. However, the employer does have a duty of care to ensure the safety of its employees, meaning that if someone was hurt from an appliance that wasn’t tested and unsafe, they could be found liable. Because of this, it’s the employer’s responsibility to have all portable electrical appliances tested.
For people in the hire industry, there are some minimum requirements. For instance, before equipment is hired out it needs to be visually inspected by the hirer before every lease. The actual appliance needs to be tested also every 3 months, which is the hirer's responsibility when they have possession of it.
For the most common environments, we recommend the following frequencies:
• 3 months: building, construction and demolition - this requires the most frequent testing due to it being considered a harsh environment and therefore an appliance being damaged is more likely compared to other settings.
• 6 months: factories, warehouses and production - this type of an environment isn't considered as harsh, but because appliances are often used constantly it needs to be tested every 6 months.
• 12 months: an environment where the equipment/supply cord is prone to flexing or open to abuse - this is often referred to as a hostile environment as the appliance can be overused and is therefore exposed to abuse by the user, as well as dust, general deterioration and the weather.
• 5 yearly: an environment where the equipment/supply cord is not prone to flexing or open to abuse - this is commonly referred to as a non-hostile environment - a typical example of this might be a company's server room.
What type of equipment is tested and tagged?
In short, any device that has a flexible cable, a removable plug and is not low voltage (not exceeding 50V). This includes extension leads, cord sets and portable RCD’s.
Generally, electrical appliances can be classed as either:
Class I – this is an earthed appliance i.e. kettles, irons and toasters
Class II – double insulated appliances, which are usually identified with a symbol (a square within a square) or with the words ‘Double Insulated’ i.e. most electric drills and hair dryers
It's worth mentioning that new equipment doesn't need to be tested - just visually inspected and tagged.
Who can test and tag electrical equipment?
The Test and Tag process is not as complicated as you may think and you don't need to be an electrician to do it. According to the law, you just need to be a 'competent person' and have taken a Test and Tag training course — a one-day course that is available all over the country.
This course will answer questions like what is a certificate of electrical safety? and how do I safely test equipment?
As an electrical contractor, Allyn White Electrical does all kinds of industrial and commercial electrical installations and repairs as well as home electrical services and emergency electrical repairs. We are a small family-owned and run business with over 40+ years’ experience so please call us on 0416235641. We are here to help.
sources: testandtagtraining.com.au, hipages.com.au
Allyn White is a licensed electrical contractor and electrician in Brisbane QLD. Allyn is ...