Jun 01, 2023
What is an Electrical Test and Tag?
In Australia, electrical testing and tagging, also known as electrical safety testing, is the process of inspecting and testing electrical equipment to ensure its safety and compliance with regulatory standards. This practice is primarily conducted to prevent electrical accidents and minimise the risk of electric shock or fire hazards in workplaces.
If your workplace uses any kind of electrical equipment, from power tools to toaster ovens to industrial manufacturing equipment, regular testing and tagging is vital to ensure the safety of your equipment, your staff and customers, and your workplace.
What Appliances Require Testing & Tagging?
Commercial electrical appliances encompass a wide range of equipment used in various industries and workplaces. While the specific requirements can vary depending on the jurisdiction and industry, here are some common examples of commercial electrical appliances that typically require testing and tagging.
- Office equipment including computers, printers, scanners and photocopiers
- Kitchen and hospitality equipment like ovens, fryers, refrigerators and freezers, dishwashers, and coffee machines,
- Retail equipment such as cash registers, barcode scanners, point-of-sale systems, refrigeration units, and display units
- Medical and healthcare equipment
- Industrial machinery
- Construction and trade tools
- Entertainment and audiovisual equipment
- Gym and fitness equipment
In Australia, there are specific requirements for testing and tagging commercial electrical appliances. These can vary based on the industry, workplace regulations, and the state in which the business operates.
The regulations around electrical testing and tagging in Australia are primarily governed by two key standards:
- AS/NZS 3760:2010 – In-Service Safety Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment: This standard outlines the guidelines for inspecting and testing electrical appliances, tools, and equipment that are commonly used in workplaces. It provides detailed procedures for visual inspections, electrical tests, and the frequency of testing based on the equipment’s classification and the environment it operates in.
- AS/NZS 3012:2019 – Electrical Installations – Construction and Demolition Sites: This standard specifically addresses the electrical safety requirements for construction and demolition sites. It covers the testing and tagging of electrical equipment used in these environments and includes provisions for the use of residual current devices (RCDs), commonly known as safety switches.
The specific regulations around electrical testing and tagging can vary slightly between different states and territories in Australia, as each jurisdiction may have its own set of rules and requirements. However, the above standards provide the baseline guidelines that are widely followed across the country.
Who Performs Testing & Tagging?
Typically, electrical testing and tagging is performed by qualified electricians who have the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct the inspections and tests. They use specialised testing equipment, such as portable appliance testers (PAT), to assess the safety and functionality of electrical equipment. The process involves visual inspections for any visible damage or defects, as well as electrical tests to measure parameters like insulation resistance, earth continuity, and polarity.
After testing, each piece of equipment is affixed with a tag or label indicating its testing date, the next due date for retesting, and the initials or identifiers of the person who conducted the testing. This labeling system helps keep track of the inspection history and ensures that equipment is regularly checked for safety.
It is important to note that electrical testing and tagging is often legal requirement in many workplaces in Australia, and non-compliance can result in penalties and fines. It is advisable to consult the specific regulations applicable to your state or territory to ensure compliance with the local requirements.