Test and Tag Regulations Australian Capital Territory
ACT WorkCover has not placed any specific regulations on electrical test and tagging. However, that the ACT Occupational Health and Safety Act 1989 places a duty of care to provide a safe workplace. Failure to maintain electrical equipment in a safe condition, or to use equipment in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions may result in injury or death to yourself, employees, or other parties.
To meet the duty of care it is necessary to ensure that risk of injury from electric shock for all people at the workplace is reduced as far as is reasonably practicable. A method of achieving this duty is by testing and tagging electrical equipment, and implementing procedures for use of electrical equipment.
ACT WorkCover is targeting electrical safety following a spate of injury reports involving electrical shocks. Inspectors will be looking for evidence that businesses are using risk assessment systems, are testing and tagging equipment, keeping maintenance logbooks, that flexible electrical cords are within the maximum length according to the Amp rating and devices that have more than two outlets have an overload mechanism. ACT WorkCover takes electrical safety breaches very seriously and has issued a number of businesses with $5000 infringement notices in recent months over electrical safety.
AS/NZS3760 In-Service Safety Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment is acknowledged all over the country as the minimum safety obligation for the workplaces. This standard applies to all types of electrical appliance including leads and power boards in offices, factories and so on (ie computers, microwaves, kettles, tools and even mobile phone chargers).
Testing and tagging of electrical appliances can be done either by a qualified electrician or a competent person (someone who has successfully completed an approved course at a TAFE college)
Advice to Employees
Testing and tagging of all portable appliances as per AS3760 should now be the norm in all workplaces. If this is not the case in your workplace, you as an employee should approach your employer and request that this be done as soon as possible. If it is not done, then the employer is breaching his/her duty under ACT Occupational Health and Safety Act 1989.