The Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 Act requires all fittings and appliances in the workplace to be electronically safe.
Testing and tagging is a practical and helpful way to maintain electrical safety of all fittings and appliances in the workplace, however, it is not legally mandatory to do so. It is up to the Person Conducting Business or Undertaking (PBCU) to decide whether they require regular testing.
By testing and tagging, you are taking sensible steps in maintaining electrical safety in your workplace. It also demonstrates to employees that you are taking reasonable action in preventing electrical accidents and injuries from occurring. Many faults in appliances aren’t visible and thus, testing and tagging can ensure that risks related to fires or electric shocks are identified and minimised. It is impossible to assume that an appliance is 100% safe, especially if it is a lot older or has been overused.
The testing Standard (AS/NZS 3760:2010) provides specified testing and inspection procedures for employers who are currently testing equipment in the workplace. Following this Standard is the best way to ensure your workplace is fulfilling electrical safety requirements. Click here to access/purchase the Standard.
Testing and tagging should be carried out every 3 months to every 5 years, depending on the nature of the equipment and the workplace environment according to the Standard. For instance, it is recommended factories, warehouses and production sites should test equipment every 6 months. While equipment in residential types areas like hotels or hostels, should be tested every 2 years.
The person conducting the testing does not have to be a registered or practicing electrician, although they must be a competent person who is fully trained to test and tag.
Even if your workplace chooses not to carry out testing and tagging, it is still crucial to keep an eye out for damaged appliances, plugs or tools, that urgently need replacing.
If you would like to know more about electrical safety in the workplace, check out WorkSafe’s Electricity section here.