Find out more - How is it done?

 

How is it done?

AS/NZS 3760:2010 details how often equipment should be inspected and tested. Contrary to some beliefs, it involves a lot more than a quick look and putting a sticker on the cord. Before testing, appliances must be properly identified with respect to being a single or 3 phase appliance. Is it double insulated or is it a Class I appliance? How does the switching work? Is it mechanical or electronic? Different appliances (an extension cord or power board is deemed to be an appliance) require different sorts of tests. Among these are tests for polarity, earth continuity, insulation resistance and leakage tests. In addition, the same standard specifies tests to be conducted on RCDs (Safety Switches), both portable and fixed.

Once the identification process is complete, a full visual inspection should then be performed. Loose parts, evidence of over heating, poor repairs, faulty controls and damaged or missing guards are just a few things that are checked. A PAT (portable appliance tester) is then connected to perform a series of tests suitable for that particular appliance. At every step, the results of each test is recorded in the memory of the tester. Finally a durable label is printed and applied to the appliance cord to identify the result and when the next test is due. I have included a sample video of how a power board is tested. Demo Video

A person conducting a business or undertaking should keep records of tests, maintenance and repairs for a period of seven years. We provide you with comprehensive reports which can also be useful for such things as insurance purposes.

On completion of testing, you will receive detailed reports of all appliances tested, their location within your business and when the next test is due.

While at your premises, the technician will also highlight any issues that should be addressed to help you further comply with your duties.

Sometimes, things just aren’t that obvious. For instance, under the Electrical Safety Act 2002, Part 5, subdivision 4 Manufacturing Work, section 89, it states:

89 Double adaptors and piggyback plugs prohibited.
(1) An employer or self-employed person must not use a double a adaptor or piggy back plug.
(2) An employer must ensure the employer’s workers do not use a double adaptor or piggyback plug.

There is no explicit prohibition for service work or office work, although we would recommend power boards instead.

Another thing that isn’t obvious is that some equipment is just not manufactured correctly and is sold in Australia before faults are discovered. You may have items in your workplace that are faulty and have been re-called without you even knowing.

Test and Tagging really is the best way to be sure that you have met your duty of care and best of all, it’s the best way of ensuring the safety of all the people at your workplace.