The importance of regular test and tag checks for your Lake Macquarie or Newcastle business.
If you run a business, you may have heard the term “Test and Tag.” Your commercial electrician may have suggested regular checks for your electrical items to ensure compliance, but are you aware of the importance and your responsibilities?
What is Test and Tag?
Test and Tag is the term used for routine safety checks on all electrical items within the office or workplace.
This is a verified method of reducing the risk of electric shock or fire in your workplace. Testing and tagging not only ensures that your business is compliant with all local and state electrical safety regulations but can provide you with peace of mind.
According to fire departments statistics, there is an estimated average of 57% of fires are caused by electrical malfunction or failure each year.
These fires cause deaths and injuries in addition to billion dollars of property damage.
Even a simple phone charger can cause catastrophic damage if it malfunctions and causes a fire, so you need to ensure that your workplace is safe.
Why Test Regularly?
Unfortunately, many faults on electrical items cannot be seen with a basic visual inspection and can only be detected with specialised equipment.
This means that you are taking a risk every time you plug an untested item into an outlet.
Fortunately, a professional electrician has the tools and expertise to test all your electrical items to ensure that they are verified against electric shock and fire.
Regular testing demonstrates that you have taken all “practical steps” to ensure the electrical safety of your premises. This will provide a defense against any personal prosecution should an accident or injury occur at your workplace.
You will be able to demonstrate to your insurer that you have tried to prevent loss with “reasonable care”.
What Should be Tested?
Any appliances that use an outlet or is connected to the power supply, such as portable lighting, refrigerators and electrical appliances should be tested.
If you are a business or employer (or other PCBU)you must make sure that electrical equipment is regularly inspected and tested by a competent person if the electrical equipment:
• is supplied with electricity through an electrical socket outlet (‘plug in’ equipment), and
• used in an environment in which its normal use exposes the equipment to operating conditions that are likely to result in damage to the equipment or a reduction in its expected life span, e.g. conditions such as exposure to moisture, heat, vibration, mechanical damage, corrosive chemicals or dust.
The relevant Australian standards are:
• 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.
Regular testing requirements
The frequency of inspection and testing will vary depending on the nature of the workplace and the risks associated with the electrical equipment.
The AS/NZS 3760: 2010 – In service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment, outlines inspection, testing, tagging methods and frequency.
Details of the required frequency for inspection and testing on construction sites are set out in Australian standard AS/NZS 3012: 2010 Electrical installations – Construction and demolition sites.
Record of testing results
A record of testing must be kept until the electrical equipment is next tested, permanently removed from the workplace or disposed of. A record of testing must specify:
• 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 in the form of a tag attached to the electrical equipment tested.
While regular testing may seem to be just another drain on your Lake Macquarie or Newcastle business resources, you should consider the importance of compliance.
Not only could failing to comply result in penalties, but you need to consider the financial implications of a fire. Should an electrical item malfunction and cause a fire, even if no one is injured, it still could cost your business a fortune.
From repairing property damage to lost business hours and increased insurance premiums, you may regret saving a few dollars by skipping regular test and tag on your electrical items.
Allow All Active Electrical to take all the worry out of ensuring you keep your Lake Macquarie or Newcastle business in line with the Australian Standards.
To have your business site tested as a once off or on a regular maintenance program, give us a call on:
0418 235 066
Look forward to hearing from you.
All Active Electrical
Your Reliable Electrician and Handyman