Electrical Testing Services – Test and Tag Regulations Australia

A death at work due to an electrical issue is something every business owner wants to avoid and should be able to easily avoid. It’s important to ensure all electrical equipment is operating correctly and that the employees have up to date information on how to stay safe when working with electrical equipment. A fire or injuries can also occur from using electrical equipment that is not safe to use. A simple way to prevent injuries, death and fires is by taking advantage of the electrical testing services that is available and legally required.

Contact FCF Fire and Electrical for a free quote on Electrical Testing Services for your business Australia Wide.

Below is a video from our FCF WA South Technician Peter Hornburg and team as they carry out the Electrical Testing Service. We have fire safety technicians across Australia who can assist you wherever you are located.

Electrical Testing Services

Most businesses use electrical equipment that could be dangerous if it is not kept in good repair. Businesses that use construction equipment or those who use equipment in a hostile working environment must be sure they adhere to Test and Tag Regulations Australia to ensure the safety of their business and personnel. However, it can be difficult for many business owners to determine where they fall under these regulations and what the regulations mean for their own business. Below is a brief overview to help a business owner determine what they need to do and when they should test their equipment.

A Summary of the Test and Tag Regulations

OSH regulations state that all portable electrical equipment and RCDs need to be regularly inspected and tagged. How often the testing needs to be done depends on the results of a risk management assessment for that business. It does need to be done more frequently if the business’s equipment is usually used in a way in which it’s subject to conditions that could lead to damage of the electrical components. The business will need to keep a record of testing that specifies the person who tested it, the date of the test, the outcome of the test, and when the next test needs to be performed. These records will need to be kept until the next testing date and can be written on a tag that is affixed to the equipment.

Electrical Testing Equipment
Electrical Testing Equipment

Any equipment that does not pass the inspection needs to be tagged as “out of service” and removed from use immediately. All issues with the equipment should be recorded and labeled. A trained professional should then inspect the equipment and give a recommendation as to whether the equipment can be repaired or if it needs to be discarded by the business and replaced. Cords and plugs up to 240V may be switched for a similar cord, but any other repairs need to be completed by the equipment manufacturer or a licensed electrician to ensure the repairs are done correctly and the equipment is able to return to use safely.

Possible Consequences of Electrical Failure in Equipment

Electrical equipment that doesn’t pass an inspection or is not inspected can be dangerous to use. One of the biggest issues is the possibility of electrocution. This could lead to severe injuries or death for the person who is electrocuted while using the product. Another possible outcome is an electrical fire, which can quickly spread through the building and cause significant amounts of damage. By testing regularly, the business can minimise the potential for these outcomes and protect their employees and the business.

Legal Requirements that May Differ by State for Electrical Testing Services

Testing and Tagging is something required throughout Australia, but the Test and Tag Regulations Australia can vary depending on the state the business is located in. It’s important to be aware of the differences to ensure the business is following all regulations for the area they are located in. Most states follow the Safe Work Australia guidelines which are the latest national WHS regulations. This includes NSW, ACT, QLD, SA, TAS and NT. WA is expected to adopt the latest regulations soon. VIC, instead, follows the Occupational Heath and Safety Act 2004.

Electrical Testing Services – Who Can Do the Testing?

The testing can be done by anyone who is authorised by the employer and that is able to do the testing competently. The worker may need to provide a certificate showing their competency on request. Even though an employee of the business can do the testing, most businesses prefer to work with a company that can do this work for them. This lets them work with highly trained electricians who and ensure all electrical equipment is thoroughly tested to ensure there is nothing that can affect the safety of the workers. The more training a person has, the safer a business is going to be since the can ensure the equipment is working properly and is safe to use.

All businesses need a professionally trained technician to tag and test all business electrical equipment. It’s not only regulated by law, it’s a way to ensure the employees are safe and the building is safe from electrical hazards. If your business needs to be tagged to ensure it’s up to date with all safety regulations, contact FCF Fire & Electrical for assistance. Their highly-trained technicians can help with all Electrical Testing Services and ensure all of your equipment is safe for the employees to operate.

Electrical Testing Services FAQs

What Items Need to be Tested?

All electrical items that are plugged into an outlet have to be inspected, tagged, and tested. Most businesses have to show proof of testing on an annual basis. Workplaces that are at higher risk for electrical hazards have to be tested more often. Industries that utilize high voltage, for example, or manufacturing plants that operate heavy machinery are required to be tested throughout the year.

What Should a Business Expect During Testing?

The first part of any testing is a visual inspection of the electrical item. Items, either machines, computers, lighting, sensors, equipment, or any other item have to be turned off during the actual test. Each test will not take a long time. Once tested, the item has to be tagged, and it can then be turned back on. Digital clocks, alarms, or timers of any kind may have to be reset.

Why do Australian Businesses Need to Do Electrical Testing?

The main reason to test and tag equipment regularly is to prevent major issues that could occur. Equipment that is not working properly could lead to an electrical fire that could cause significant amounts of damage to the business. Worse, it could lead to the electrocution of the person handling the equipment if it fails while they’re using it. This could lead to the death of personnel in many cases as the electrocution could be severe. Proper test and tagging reduces this risk and protects the business and the personnel.

Electrical Testing Services – What Equipment Needs to be Tested?

A business should test any electrical equipment that is plugged in through an outlet and that is frequently used in an environment that could expose it to operating conditions that are likely to result in damage to the equipment.

What are the Costs Involved in Testing and Tagging?

The total costs depend on the number of items that have to tested and tagged. Most companies provide a rate per item. It is important for business owners to make sure the rate includes labor, equipment, tests, tags, and reporting services. All factors have to be completed in order for the business to remain in compliance. Getting testing done, for example, without proper tags or reporting may still subject business owners to fines.

When should Equipment be tested?

Non-construction businesses need to do a risk management assessment to determine the type of inspection and any testing that is required, as well as how often. For equipment that is being operated in an environment likely to cause damage, inspections will need to be done more frequently.

What requirements are there for records of testing?

The employer and electrician, if not employed by the company, should keep records that state the name of the person who did the inspection, the date when it was carried out, the result of the inspection, and the date in which the next test should be done. If any equipment is repaired, this information will need to be recorded as well.

What if a piece of equipment fails the testing?

If a piece of equipment fails the testing, it will need to be removed from use immediately and tagged to show it cannot be used. If it can be repaired, once it is repaired it can be retested and be put back to use again. If it cannot be repaired, it will need to be discarded of properly and replaced with functional equipment.

It Is More Cost-Effective to Complete Testing In-House?

This is one of the most common test and tag faqs because business owners want to keep operating and maintenance costs down. There are several factors that have to be considered. The first factor is the size of the business, and the frequency of testing required. A large business, for example, with high voltage machinery may save money by testing in-house. A medium or small business will probably find it more cost-effective to hire professionals to conduct annual inspections, tagging, and testing.

Costs to be able to handle that task in-house can be high for businesses. The first cost is initial and continuing training of staff who will be conducting tests. Equipment has to be purchased, along with regulation tags. Standards and guidance materials are needed for reference, as are reporting software systems. Staff will also have to learn how to utilize that software. Businesses will have to train new staff as people leave for other jobs, or retire. It will all add up quickly.

How Does Electrical Testing Apply to my State?

Not all Australian states follow the same codes, so it’s important to understand the differences between states. NSW, ACT, QLD, SA, TAS and NT have all adopted the National WHS Regulations and it is expected that WA will adopt this as well. The remainder follow the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. A business owner should determine the current code within their state and follow it carefully to ensure they are compliant. Those who are not sure what to do to remain up to date with the code in their state can contact professional Electrical Testing Services for help.

What Businesses Need to Test Electrical Equipment

Any business must ensure electrical equipment is regularly inspected if it is plug-in equipment and if it is used in an environment which exposes it to operating conditions that are likely to result in damage to the equipment or a reduction in its expected life span. All construction and demolition businesses must ensure their equipment is tested on a regular basis and generally have more stringent requirements than other businesses to ensure the safety of all workers.

Who Can Test the Equipment

The Test and Tag Regulations Australia dictate who is allowed to perform the testing of any electrical equipment. The testing needs to be done by someone who is considered competent because they have acquired the knowledge and skills to carry out inspections and testing through training, qualifications or experience. It is a good idea to hire a professional, licensed, and highly trained electrician to carry out the Electrical Testing Services to ensure the testing complies with all regulations. This ensures the person who is doing the testing is considered competent and is able to inspect the equipment properly.

What the Tagging Requirements Are

For a construction or demolition site, all equipment that is tested ill need to be tagged. The tag must include the name of the person who performed the testing, the testing date, and the date it needs to be retested. Any person who takes portable equipment to a worksite must have the tag attached. Other workplaces do not require tags on working equipment, but there should be records of all inspections and tests. Testing of construction and demolition equipment must be done according to specific regulations, but other businesses are required to test based on their own risk assessment plan.

What Happens With Non-Complying Equipment

When equipment doesn’t pass the inspection, a tag needs to be attached that details any defects. It needs to be removed from use immediately and cannot be used again until it has been properly repaired. If it cannot be repaired, it must be discarded in accordance with local laws. Electrical equipment that is connected to a 240V supply of electricity or lower can have damaged components switched out for a similar replacement. All other equipment must be repaired by a licensed electrician, the manufacturer, or an authorized technician. The equipment must be inspected and tested again before it can be used.

Legal Requirements that Might Differ Between States

The basic legal requirements for Testing and Tagging may differ between states. NSW, ACT, QLD, SA, TAS, and NT have all enacted the National WHS Regulations and WA is expected to adopt these regulations in the near future. VIC follows the Occupational Heath and Safety Act 2004.

A business is required to have someone who is considered a competent person and who has experience working with electrical equipment to test and tag the equipment. It’s a good idea to ensure the person performing the testing is a licensed and trained Electrical Testing Technician. Failure to have equipment tested by a competent person could lead to serious consequences such as a fire, electrocution, or the death of an employee. A business owner should contact a professional for Electrical Testing Services to ensure everything is done as required by law and to ensure the business and employees are safe from the dangers of malfunctioning equipment. Contact FCF Fire & Electrical for assistance with all Electrical Test Services – we are the Electrical Testing Company you can count on to get the job done, wherever you are in Australia.

Contact FCF Fire and Electrical for Electrical Testing Services

Though the test and tag regulations can vary between states and types of businesses, there are some basics that will apply that a business owner needs to understand. If the business owner has any questions about what they are required to do, it’s a good idea to contact a professional electrician in the area for assistance.

It’s important to ensure someone who is well qualified is doing the Testing and Tagging for a business. Most business owners will find it beneficial to hire an electrician instead of depending on one of their workers who might not have enough training to qualify under the business regulations or who might not fully understand the regulations. Professionally trained electricians are always up to date on electrical safety and can thoroughly test equipment to ensure it’s safe to use under the specific code for their state. Contact FCF Fire & Electrical for assistance with all Electrical Testing Services.