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Testing and tagging: what you need to know

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By Master Electricians Australia

Testing and tagging equipment is an important part of running an electrically safe business.

Specified electrical equipment and safety switches must be regularly tested in accordance with local laws.

When an appliance has been tested and approved for use, a durable tag must be attached that shows when the test was done and when the next test is due.

Any equipment that fails testing should be immediately taking out of use. A durable tag must be attached to the device warning people not to use it.

Who can perform testing and tagging?

Testing must be conducted by a person who has been deemed ‘competent’. A competent person has experience, qualifications, and training to test and tag electrical equipment.

This includes:

  • The ability to conduct a visual examination of electrical equipment in accordance with AS/NZS 3760.
  • The ability to distinguish between electrical equipment that is double insulated and equipment that is protectively earthed and identify the correct test the device.
  • The ability to carry out the earthing continuity tests on electrical equipment in accordance with Appendix A of AS/NZS 3760, while flexing the flexible cable.
  • The ability to carry out the insulation resistance tests on electrical equipment in accordance with AS/NZS 3760.
  • The ability to carry out tests on residual current devices (safety switches) in accordance with AS/NZS 3760.
  • Knowledge of the proper use of the relevant testing instruments and to interpret results for compliance with AS/NZS 3760.
  • An understanding of how the ES Regulation applies to electrical equipment and installations at the workplace.

A Master Electrician has the skills, experience and equipment needed to complete these tests to the highest standard.

How often you need to test and tag equipment

The work being carried out determines how regularly electrical equipment should be tested.

  • For construction work transportable structures, fixed and transportable equipment and construction wiring must be tested every six months.
  • All other electrical construction work equipment must be tested and tagged every three months
  • For manufacturing work, double insulated equipment must be tested and tagged every 12 months.
  • Manufacturing equipment that is not double insulated must be tested every six months.

How often you need to test and tag Type 1 and Type 2 safety switches

Like with electrical appliances Type 1 and Type 2 safety switches must be regularly tested. How often they must be tested depends on the work being carried out and the type of safety switch.

For construction work:

  • Fixed safety switch using a push-button user test every month
  • Fixed safety switch using an operating time/current test every 12 months
  • Portable safety switch using a push-button user test daily or before each use, whichever is longer
  • Portable safety switch using an operating time/current test every three months

For manufacturing work:

  • Fixed safety switch using a push-button user test every six months
  • Fixed safety switch using an operating time/current test every 12 months

Note: Portable safety switches have been prohibited in manufacturing work.

For office work:

  • Fixed safety switch using a push-button user test every six months
  • Fixed safety switch using an operating time/current test every two years
  • Portable safety switch using a push-button user test every three months
  • Portable safety switch using an operating time/current test every two years

Longer test intervals may apply in certain circumstances.

Read SafeWork Australia’s advice on testing and tagging

You can find the original article by Master Electricians Australia here.

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