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Electrical Appliances Test & Tag

Testing and tagging of electrical appliances involves regular inspection and testing by a competent person with the aim of ensuring the appliance is safe to use and is free of any damage, wear and / or electrical fault.

Any business or employers (or other PCBU) has the responsibility of making sure any electrical equipment on their site is regularly inspected by a competent person.

Why do you need to regularly test & tag electrical appliances?

Regular testing & tagging minimizes the risk of electrical shock to anyone who may come into contact with or operates an electrical appliance.

Each piece of equipment is inspected, electrically tested, and then tagged (labelled) at regular intervals.

A record of these tests are kept as part of the business’ WHS risk management documentation for 7 years which is a mandatory requirement. This documentation must be produced within 24 hours of a request being made by a Workplace Health and Safety Inspector in the relevant state.

All testing and tagging of electrical equipment, including RCD’s (safety switches) must be undertaken by a competent person at least every 12 months.

Electrical testing includes:

  • Physical/integrity check
  • Visual Inspections
  • Insulation Tests
  • Earth Continuity Test
  • Continuity Test
  • Functionality Test
  • Earth Leakage Test
  • Polarity Test

What is defined as a “Portable Electrical Appliance” that require “Test and Tag”?

A portable electrical appliance that require Test and Tag is defined as an electrical equipment that:

  • Relies on electricity through an electrical socket i.e. ‘plug-in’ equipment,
  • The equipment is connected to mains by means of flexible cords,
  • Fixed cables are flexed for the purpose of cleaning, maintenance or re-stocking of the equipment
  • Is used in an environment where it may be exposed operating conditions that may result in damage to the equipment or appliance.
  • A portable electrical equipment that is connected at a height of 2.5m and below

The above definitions are some of the conditions that are scoped in the AS/NZS 3760:2010 and is not a comprehensive documents for your Test and Tag requirement. If you are unsure about your portable electrical appliance is subject to annual test and tagging, contact Blue Army.

Who is authorised to Test and Tag Portable Electrical appliances?

According to AS/NZS 3760:2010, a person deemed as ‘competent’ is also able to perform testing and tagging in compliance with the standard.

Our technicians at Blue Army are suitably qualified/licenced and have the required knowledge, experience and skills to undertake safe and reliable testing and tagging of your electrical appliances.

A competent person must have knowledge of the following relevant Australian Standards:

  • AS/NZS 3760: 2010 - In service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment, outlines inspection, testing and tagging methods
  • AS/NZS 3012: 2010 - Electrical installations - Construction and demolition sites, outlines regular inspection and testing requirements.

What information is recorded in electrical testing and tagging?

AS/NZS 3760:2010 a record of testing must contain the following information and should be kept for a period of 7 years as a WHS mandatory requirement.

  • A register of all tested equipment.
  • A record of formal inspection and tests.
  • A repair register.
  • A record of all faulty equipment.
  • The name of the person who carried out the testing
  • The date of the testing
  • The outcome of the testing
  • The date on which the next testing must be carried out.

The record may be kept in the form of a paper log book or in electronic format.

What information should be recorded in the tag on appliances?

  • The name of the person / Licence number who carried out the testing
  • The date of the testing
  • The date on which the next testing must be carried out.

The above are some of the conditions that are scoped in the AS/NZS 3760:2010 and is not a comprehensive documents for your Test and Tag documentation requirement. If you are unsure about your portable electrical appliance Test and Tag documentation, please contact Blue Army.

RCD Testing (Safety Switch)

Imagine living your life without electricity – it so much a part of our lives.

However, electricity is also very dangerous when things go wrong involving electricity.

Did you know it only takes a fifth of a second for a strong electric current flowing through your heart to kill you?

Frightening, isn’t it?

Imagine for a moment you are using an electric hedge trimmer or any other appliance / device connected to a power outlet and you accidentally cut through the cable.

When that happens, the electricity running through the cut part of the cable must ‘go somewhere’.

If the trimmer (appliance) has a metal case, and you’re holding onto it and you’re standing on the ground then it’s very likely that your body will form an ‘easy path’ – i.e. the path of least resistance for the electric current to flow through.

In literally a heartbeats time, the electric current would kill you.

However, you can safeguard and protect yourself and others from such an outcome by using an RCD (residual current device) also know GFI (ground fault interrupter).

What does an RCD do?

The RCD is an electrical safety device specifically designed to immediately switch the electrical current flow when current "leaking" to earth is detected at a level harmful to a person using an electrical equipment. An RCD offers a high level of personal protection from electric shock.

RCDs also help to reduce the risk of fire by detecting electrical leakage to earth in electrical wiring and accessories. RCDs are designed to operate within 10 to 50 milliseconds and to disconnect the electricity supply when they sense harmful leakage, typically 30mA.

How often do RCDs need testing?

An RCD needs to be tested and tagged in accordance with AS/NZS 3760:2010 standard to ensure it not only complies, yet more importantly, responds correctly in an electrical fault situation typically 30mA.

The testing process involves the process of safely ‘tripping’ the RCD to make sure it operates quickly in the event of an electrical incident.

RCDs should be tested every 12 months in accordance with AS/NZS 3760.

At a minimum, the test and inspection will cover:

  • Checking that the insulation is in good order
  • Checking that the plug sockets and plug tops attached to the cord are the correct rating
  • Checking the continuity of each conductor
  • Checking that the conductors are correctly connected (correct polarity)

In addition, Push Button testing of your RCD is also required under Australian standards every 6 months.

Blue Army are trained professionals and can test your RCD devices in accordance with Australian Standards.

Plug Top Replacement

Over time and due to wear and tear, the plug at the end of a power cord can get damaged and ultimately, expose you to electrical shock.

If you notice a damaged plug at the end of your extension cord or any other power cable, then you need to have it replaced immediately to avoid any harm.

Plug top replacement is the process of removing the damaged plug end and replacing it with a new compliant plug.

While the process may sound simple, it is highly advisable to engage a competent person to carry out the replacement.

The replacement process typically involves:

  • Correctly stripping and trimming wires
  • Attaching the plug and socket
  • A thorough understanding of wiring regulations
  • Knowing the differences between various plugs & sockets
  • The process of testing and tagging and final checks

Microwave Leakage Test

So many workplaces around Australia have a microwave in their common / kitchen areas.

These devices provide convenience and speed to those who want to heat up their lunch.

Research studies though have shown that one in four microwaves are failing the microwave leakage safety test.

This means that 25% of people in workplaces, who use a microwave, may be subject to microwave radiation.

Why do microwaves ‘leak’?

The common reason whey microwaves leak comes down to faulty or worn-out door seals.

Microwave ovens use electromagnetic radiation to heat food.

If microwave ovens are used with damaged / worn out door seals or if the unit itself is not functioning properly, it is possible for them to leak electromagnetic radiation.

And it’s hard to know if your microwave is leaking because these ‘radiation’ leaks are hard to detect because you can’t smell or see them.

Why is it important to test for microwave leakage?

While microwave radiation is non-ionizing, in that it does not have the same risks as x-rays of other types of ionizing radiation, it can though have damaging effects on body tissue.

Microwaves essentially ‘heat’ from the inside – that is why they are so effective at heating your leftover dinner from last night!

However, exposure to microwave radiation in an unsafe level can cause skin burns or even cataracts.

To ensure that microwave ovens are safe, manufacturers are required to certify that their microwave oven products meet the strict radiation safety standard created and enforced by relevant standards.

Testing for microwave radiation leakage

There are two tests recommended for microwave radiation leaks:

  • Radiation leakage
  • Electrical test and tag

Testing of microwave leakage falls under the Australian Standard AS/NZS 60335.2.25.

While testing a microwave for electrical safety falls under a separate standard; AS/NZS 3760.

If not used properly and checked regularly, microwaves can cause serious harm.

The radiation from microwaves are invisible and many thousands of units are failing testing every year.

By simply undertaking an annual microwave leakage test and using qualified technicians, your workplace can remain a safe environment for everyone.

Blue Army is qualified to carry out both microwave radiation leakage tests as well as electrical safety and test/tag on microwave devices. Contact us today.

Contact Blue Army today to have your microwave units tested for safety and compliance.

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