Google “OH&S” and it probably wont take you too long to see the following sentence from SafeAtWork.org.au:
“Every worker has a right to work in safe environment and expect to come home from work in the same state of health as they left.”
Testing and tagging is an important part of a business’s overall OH&S procedure, policy, and practice. It’s a strategy undertaken by commercial properties and businesses to reduce the risk of electric shock by identifying faulty appliances or equipment. The test and tag process is generally split into two phases: visual inspection and electrical testing (more on that below.)
The Victorian Health and Safety Act says that an employer has a legal obligation to ensure that a workplace is safe and that risks and hazards are identified. That is, if you’re an employer or business owner and you don’t identify electrical risks and consequently control those risks, you could be in trouble.
What is the testing and tagging process (and who should do it?)
A licensed electrician is usually required when it comes to the test and tag process.
Equipment and appliances are inspected, tested under strict controls, and then tagged (or labelled) once determined they’re safe to use. Test and tag results are lodged electronically and a physical copy can also be prepared for you as a business owner or manager.
This documentation becomes part of your overall OH&S and risk assessment documentation.
Phase 1: visual inspection
Initial visual inspections can often identify tell tale signs of equipment damage, such as:
- Obvious damage and cracks on sockets
- Discolouration, which may indicate heat exposure
- Cord damage due to bends and pressures
- Obstructed or faulty ventilation
Phase 2: electrical testing
Once a device passes the visual inspection, its then subjected to electrical testing. This is where insulation, continuity, and polarity can be tested to ensure an appliance is electrically safe for use.
How often should appliances be tested and tagged?
Regular testing and tagging keeps businesses compliant with state- and nation-wide laws, regulations, and guidelines.
Depending on your industry and its equipment, testing and tagging can be performed every three months, biannually, yearly, or every 3-5 years.
What kinds of appliances and equipment is tested?
Everything from hand-held power tools to hand dryers to rollercoasters are liable for regular testing.
Electrical items in the following areas and commercial spaces may be subjected to testing and tagging:
- Retail spaces and shopping centres
- Classrooms / lecture rooms / meeting rooms
- Construction sites
What happens to faulty, damaged, or at-risk equipment?
When an item fails testing due to a defect being identified, that piece of equipment must be clearly labelled with an “out of service” tag and the device must be recorded for a business’s records. An electrician must inspect the appliance and determine whether it can be repaired, or whether it needs to be discarded and replaced with a new appliance.
The risk of a faulty appliance
A failed appliance is one thing, but the danger and risk it poses to both employees and customers is quite another.
A damaged appliance or piece of equipment can lead to:
- Electrical fire
- Electric shock
Worried about the standard of your electrical equipment and appliances?
Better to be safe than sorry.
Organise an electrical test and tag inspection from Briggs Electrical. We’re Melbourne electricians based in Moorabbin and servicing the entire Bayside region as well as Melbourne’s CDB. Call us now or fill in this form to arrange a through and complete testing and tagging procedure.