Test and Tag Regulations Northern Territory
Division 4 Regulations 62 of the Work Health (Occupational Health and Safety) Regulations 2006 outline the requirements in regard to electrical equipment and work practices. It requires all electrical equipment at a work place to comply with relevant standards.
Every employer has a duty of care to ensure that their employees are safe from injury and risks to health while they are at work. For all electrical equipment the employer must undertake hazard identification and risk assessment of these situations to eliminate risk of electrical hazards. All hazards associated with electrical equipment must be identified. This approach should be performed in consultation with the employer and workers. Decide how the hazards/risks are going to be controlled. If elimination of the hazard is not possible, other controls should be implemented to reduce potential risks. These controls may include the use of residual current devices (RCDs) – safety switches, regular monitoring, record keeping and the testing of electrical equipment and fixed wiring, safe systems of work and personal protective equipment.
All electrical equipment other than equipment situated in permanent locations or designed for extra low voltage, must be inspected, electrically tested and tagged in accordance with Australian Standard AS3760: In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment. This includes new equipment prior to being used. A visual inspection should be carried out each time electrical equipment is used to identify damaged leads, plugs etc.
Flexible cords must be maintained in good condition and should be of a heavy duty type, and flexible cord conductors should have a minimum cross sectional area of 1.0 mm. For information on the maximum length of any flexible cords, refer to NT WorkSafe Information Bulletin No. WH 05.02.01 entitled ‘Electrical Safety Requirements for Construction Work’. Protection of flexible cords Flexible cords should be located in a position where they are not subject to mechanical or any other damage.
Regulation 65 requires records to be kept of all tests. This information is useful to program future testing and tagging and will provide an inventory of electrical equipment. New electrical equipment into the workplace should also be added to this inventory.
The inspection, testing and tagging can be conducted by a person the employer has assessed as competent having the necessary skill, training or experience to conduct the tests. When electrical equipment is being hired out, inspection and testing must be carried out before each hire.
If the workplace is a construction site, then Part 13 of AS 3012 requires testing to be conducted on all electrical equipment on construction sites at varying frequencies. This part should be studied to ensure compliance. NT WorkSafe information bulletin WH 05.02.02 Safety Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment shows the minimum requirements for testing equipment on construction sites. However all electrical equipment on a construction site should be visually checked prior to use.
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 Regulation 62.