Test and TagHaving electrical equipment tested in a workplace can be a confusing task.

This can be made harder and more costly when the person completing the test does not understand the legal requirements that surround this process and needlessly test equipment that does not meet the requirements.

For example, testing a USB lead used to charge a mobile phone.Each State has similar details on this electrical testing however Queensland is completely different due to the Electrical Safety Act introduced in 2002.

 

Under this legislation the ‘specified electrical equipment’ is categorised into different types of ‘work’,
• Hiring
• Amusement
• Construction
• Manufacturing
• Office
• Rural, and
• Service
Most of the confusion surround the test and tag requirement of ‘specified electrical equipment’ for Office / Service work, where the legislation lists an annual or 5-year testing cycle. However, what is often overlooked is that the testing regime is not required for the ‘specified electrical equipment’ IF the circuits are protected by a safety switch.
In all instances the Safety Switch MUST be tested by a competent person for the trip time and amperage. Understandably this is a specialist task completed by an electrical trades person resulting in a certificate of the test for the safety switch operation as being serviceable or not. Between these tests the user MUST be also testing the activation of the safety circuit with the ‘Press to test’ button at predetermined intervals to ensure the safety switch remains serviceable.

The test and tag requirements does not eliminate the need for workplaces to complete checks of equipment on a scheduled basis to ensure that they remain safe to operate.