When you run a business, whether small or large, there are plenty of compliance and OH & S issues that you need to be on top of, and Test & Tag is another to add to the list.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (OSH Act) requires all electrical equipment at workplaces to be safe, and not expose workers to potential hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 requires that the person who has control of the workplace i.e the employer, self-employed person or main contractor, must ensure that all portable plug-in electrical equipment and residual current devices (RCDs) at the workplace are safe, and inspected, tested and maintained by a competent person.
The equipment required to be tested includes computers, printers, fax machines, phone chargers, heaters, portable fans, extension cords and more – essentially anything that your staff members can plug into an electrical outlet needs to be regularly tested.
What needs to be test and tagged and how regularly?
As mentioned earlier, any portable electrical item that your employees may use day to day needs to be regularly tested and tagged. This includes everything from power tools to kettles and microwaves. While many businesses think of the normal electrical items such as computers, printers, photocopiers and fax machines, it is often kitchen and tea-room appliances and items like portable air conditioners and desk lamps that are often forgotten about. It is these items which are used throughout the day which can cause safety issues if not regularly checked.
The time in between testing varies depending on the item. For items in extreme circumstances, they may require daily testing, whereas other items need to be tested anywhere from monthly to five-yearly. When you have your electrical items checked, the electrician doing the testing will advise you when the next inspection and test is due.
Who can undertake test and tag checks?
Legislation in Western Australia requires that a competent person must undertake the testing of electrical equipment. A competent person is one who has acquired “through training, qualification or experience, or a combination of these, the knowledge and skills required to test electrical equipment competently.”
Essentially, any test and tagging should be carried out by a trained and qualified electrician who is able to recognise electrical hazards and the potential for unsafe conditions. The person who carries out test and tagging must know what to look at, what to look for and what to do. They need to be able to provide you information on your requirements should there be a safety issue with any of your electrical equipment.
What records do I need to keep?
As a business owner, there are some records that you do need to keep when it comes to test and tagging electrical equipment in your business. You should have copies of all inspections, tests and maintenance, and a copy also needs to be held by the person who carried out the testing. The main information that you need to keep is:
- Who made the inspection or carried out the testing and maintenance;
- The date on which maintenance or testing occurred;
- The result or outcome of the inspection, test and maintenance;
- The date that the next inspection and test is due by;
- License number of the person who carried out the test;
- The inspection number of the items inspected if applicable.
On top of these requirements, if you run a construction or demolition site, you must keep the following for all electrical equipment and RCDs:
- A register of all equipment;
- Formal records of inspections and tests;
- A repair register;
- A record of any faulty equipment that shows details of servicing and corrective actions that have been undertaken.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve had the plug-in electrical items in your business tested, call PRF Electrical. We are qualified to provide all test and tagging solutions, testing and tagging your electrical items on a schedule, as well as explain any requirements from your end. Our appliance testing equipment digitally records each test and prints a barcoded tag which can be scanned during ongoing testing. This allows us to produce a record of accurate results for each appliance.
The team at PRF Electrical can also conduct a variety of important electrical compliance checks including:
- RCD testing
- Emergency and exit light testing
- Thermographic testing of electrical switchboards and equipment
- Smoke alarm testing
Contact our friendly and professional team today to organise your test and tag.