If you own or manage a business, it is your responsibility to ensure that your workplace is as safe as possible, both for your employees and members of the general public. One essential way to ensure a safe working environment is having your electrical appliances tested and tagged through a scheduled maintenance program. In fact, failure to test and tag could see you face penalties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000, which stipulates that employers need to make their workplace safe for employees.
Electrical appliances are a vital part of an efficient workplace but these appliances can be deadly if they aren’t in proper working order. Every year, electrical appliances cause numerous workplace injuries (such as electrical shocks and electrocutions) and even fatalities in extreme cases. Not only that, faulty appliances have been known to cause electrical fires and thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. That’s what makes testing and tagging such an important part of any employer’s workplace safety routine.
So, let’s take a look at exactly what you can expect from electrical testing and tagging services.
The first step involves a thorough visual inspection of all the electrical appliances at your work place by a qualified, experienced technician according to the standards set out in Australian Standard 3760:2010 – In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment. The types of appliances that can be tested include everything from extension leads, motors and pumps, right through to any other appliance that is plugged into a power socket, such as kettles, microwaves, lamps and computers.
During this phase, each appliance will be subjected to a visual inspection in order to check for physical damage, wear and tear to covers, plugs, connections and leads. This visual inspection allows the technician to determine whether the appliance is safe to be inspected electrically.
Once the technician is satisfied that your appliance has passed a thorough visual inspection, they will then use a handheld device (Portable Appliance Tester or PAT) to check the appliances’ earthing resistance, polarity, insulation resistance and leakage current testing.
Provided that the technician is satisfied with the performance of the electrical appliance they will be ‘tagged’ as being safe. It is at this point an actual, physical tag that includes a unique barcode will be affixed to the tested and safe appliance.
Alternatively, if there is a fault with your electrical appliance, a ‘Danger, DO NOT USE’ tag will be fixed to the appliance. The item will then be handed to a site representative so it can be removed from service. Should you choose to repair (rather than replace) the faulty appliance, it must be tested and tagged again, once the repair is complete.
A detailed electronically generated report will then be issued showing all tests carried out. If you do choose to use Anmar Solutions for your site test and tag, the unique barcode on each tag will be logged, including when testing is required again. In fact, our reports house detailed testing records, which satisfy all legislative requirements, including the:
- Name of the person who undertook the testing
- Date on which the test was conducted
- Result of the test
- Date on which the next test and tag is required
Keep in mind that different types of equipment have different testing schedules so it’s important you take note of when your testing and tagging is due. To make sure you don’t face any problems, Anmar even offers a reminder service, designed specifically to help you to stay on top of all your testing and tagging requirements.
In the event that WorkSafe or any other third party audits your company, you can quickly and easily prove that your appliances have been tested and tagged, both using the tags that are affixed to your appliances, as well as the detailed documentation in our reports.
A Quick Note on Electrical Hazards
If you notice any of the following problems in your workplace, we suggest that you contact Anmar Solutions as soon as possible to arrange electrical appliance testing. It is never a good idea to stick to rigid processes when the safety and security of your employees is in question.
Some of the common problems we find on our tours of workplaces include:
- Faulty or non-functioning safety switches (RCDs)
- Faults with earthing systems
- Frayed cords
- Faulty wiring
- Excessive moisture, corrosion and vibration
There’s nothing more important than giving your employees a safe place to work. Avoiding your test and tagging responsibilities can have disastrous effects, crippling your business and ruining lives.
It’s worth remembering that faulty, malfunctioning or improperly installed electrical appliances are much less efficient. Your business may be spending far more than it needs to on power bills and employee efficiency may be less than optimum (think faulty computer equipment or power tools). A good test and tagging program will help ensure that your equipment is in proper working order, helping you avoid employee downtime and enabling you to rectify small problems before they transform into large, expensive disasters.