A document written by Standards Australia that specifies the procedures and criteria for the in-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment which is designed for connection by a flexible cord. It also applies to cord extension sets, portable outlet devices, portable residual current devices and portable isolation transformers. Appendices include detailed test methods.
Why Should I Test And Tag My Electrical Equipment?
As individuals and the broader community alike become more aware and concerned with adhering to Occupational Health and Safety laws, great care has to be taken to avoid accidents in the workplace. The presence of regulations protecting employees against company negligence, means that the prosecution of the employer in cases of negligence is much more likely and harsher penalties are faced, than were in the past.
A well planned program of preventive maintenance, with regular electrical safety checks, is the ideal way to avoid unnecessary and unfortunate accidents, as well as the legal ramifications that follow.
Every work situation is different and the frequency of testing depends on the harshness of the environment in question. There may be multiple environments in the one workplace, which means that some appliances may need to be retested in as little as 3 months if the surroundings are harsh. However, if the surrounding environment is less detrimental to the appliance itself, retest dates may extend to a period of anywhere up to 5 years.
Australian Standards AS3760 clearly outline how often portable appliances in different workplace environments must be tested as outlined in the document linked below.
Testing and inspection intervals for electrical equipment
The process of testing appliance involves the following:
Visual Inspection: The most important test is a Visual Inspection of the device, especially leads. Cords should be firmly anchored in plugs, connections made solidly with no frayed ends. Copper terminals should be clean and not pitted.
Electrical Testing: The appliance will be tested with various test equipment to test for any unseen electrical faults. These tests include; an insulation resistance test; earth continuity, earth routine or earth bond test; a polarity test; and an earth leakage test.
Record Keeping: Although the AS3760 does not refer to record keeping upon completion of any test, various codes of practices refer to this. In spite of this we recommend all information be recorded comprehensively, whether in a database or by hand in a log book.
Tags: A safety tag must be placed on the appliance verifying its safe approval. This tag must clearly display:
The above are the only things that are outlined in Australian Standards, however we recommend that the tag should contain both the name of the tester and the test company name, and both the date tested and the retest date.
Any appliance within a business that has a flexible cord that plugs into either a single phase 240V power outlet or 3 phase 415V power outlet needs to be tested regularly to ensure that the appliance is electrically safe to use within the workplace. These appliances include anything from computers to toasters, or drills and other tools to factory machinery. Any appliance within the workplace that is under 16kg or is over 16kg but has a carry handle (which makes it portable), needs to be tested, and continue to be tested in order to adhere to Occupational Health and Safety regulations, and comply with Australian Standards AS/NZ 3760.