What is Electrical test and tag?
- Electrical test and tag is a Work Health and Safety requirement
- It’s the process of inspecting and testing electrical equipment to determine it is electrically safe.
Why is test and tag important?
- Testing and tagging can identify electrical safety issues before an injury occurs, minimising the risk of injury or death through electric shock in the workplace.
How to test and tag electrical equipment
Inspection and testing is carried out by a ‘competent person,’ following the process outlined in the Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment:
Visual Inspection / External inspection – check for obvious damage, defects, or modifications in the equipment and its accessories, connectors, plugs or extension sockets and for discoloration that may indicate exposure to excessive heat, chemical or moisture.
Testing – the purpose of testing is to determine unobservable faults not found by the visual inspection process.
To do so the ‘competent person’ will use a calibrated electrical test and tag machine and depending on the type of equipment will check for faults in:
- Earthing continuity
- Insulation resistance
- Polarity of rewireable plugs
New South Wales Electrical test and tag standard requirements. Electrical items used in higher-risk operating environments need to be inspected under Regulation 150: As a general rule electrical equipment used in higher-risk environments should be tested at least once every 12 months.
Depending on the environment more frequent testing may be required:
- Electrical equipment used in manufacturing and workshop environments should be tested at least once every 6 months
- Commercial cleaning equipment, once every 6 months
- Hire equipment, once every 3 months
Lower-risk workplaces – include those that are dry, clean, well-organised and free of conditions that are likely to result in damage – for example an office, retail shop or classroom, still need testing but on a less-frequent basis, to ensure that it is safe for continued use.
Testing Intervals – how often should equipment be tested?
The type of environment and/or equipment determines how often it is to be tested.
|Environment / Equipment||Interval|
|Environment where the equipment or supply cord is NOT subject to flexing in normal us OR open to abuse and is NOT in a hostile environment. Example – Computer plugged in under a desk||
Every 5 years
|Environment where the equipment or supply flexible cord is subject to flexing in normal us OR open to abuse or in a hostile environment.Example – Toaster in the office kitchen||Every 12 months|
|Factories, workshops, places of manufacture, assembly, maintenance or fabricationExample – Power Tools on a workbench||Every 6 months|
|Equipment used for Commercial cleaning Example – Commercial Vacuum Cleaner||Every 6 months|
Example – Kennards Wet Vac
|Prior to hire and then every 3 months|
|Repaired, serviced and second-hand equipment
Example – Used appliance purchased on Gumtree
|After repair/service or on reintroduction to service|
Can anyone perform Test & Tag?
No, Certain types of electrical equipment must be regularly inspected and tested by a competent person to identify damage, wear and detect electrical faults.
‘Competent person’ for inspection and testing
A competent person is someone who has acquired – through training, qualification or experience – the knowledge and skills to carry out inspections and testing of electrical equipment.
In general, a competent person is a Licensed Electrician or an apprentice working under the direct supervision of a licensed electrician.
What to do next?
If you are unsure of whether your installation complies with the NSW Code of Practice and Workplace Health and Safety Regulations, give us a call at Rotric and we can provide a commercial electrician to assist in ensuring your installation is upto date and compliant.
Rotric have been at the forefront of the Sydney and NSW electricity game for more than 45 years and our qualified commercial electricians can make sure your workplace is safe and up to standard as experts in electrical test and tag.