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March 06, 2020 on chapter Electrical safety

What are our testing and tagging requirements?

Our business has offices in Melbourne, Hobart, Sydney and Brisbane. What are the test and tag requirements in these states?

Testing and tagging requirements for each state are summarised below:

New South Wales

Part 4.7 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 (Regulation) deals with electrical safety in workplaces, and regulation 150 deals with inspecting and testing of electrical equipment. Under the Regulation, a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must ensure that electrical equipment is regularly inspected and tested by a competent person if the electrical equipment is:

 

    • supplied with electricity through an electrical socket outlet; and

 

    • used in an environment in which the normal use of electrical equipment exposes the equipment to operating conditions that are likely to result in damage to the equipment or a reduction in its expected life span, including conditions that involve exposure to moisture, heat, vibration, mechanical damage, corrosive chemicals or dust.

 

A PCBU must ensure that a record of any testing carried out is kept until the electrical equipment is next tested or permanently removed from the workplace or disposed of (regulation 150(3)). The record of testing may be in the form of a tag attached to the electrical equipment tested and must specify the following (regulation 150(4)):

 

    • the name of the person who carried out the testing;

 

    • the date of the testing; §the outcome of the testing; and

 

    • the date on which the next testing must be carried out.

 

Tasmania

The Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 (Regulation) deals with electrical safety in workplaces. Regulation 150 of Part 4.7 deals with inspecting and testing of electrical equipment. The Regulation imposes the same requirements as those in NSW (above).

Queensland

The Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 (Regulation) deals with electrical safety in workplaces. Regulation 112 deals with inspecting and testing of electrical equipment.

Under the Regulation, a PCBU must ensure that specified electrical equipment of the PCBU at the workplace is not used to perform work unless:

 

    • it is inspected and tested by a competent person at least once every 5 years (if the equipment is only for office work) or at least once every year (if the equipment is used otherwise); or

 

    • it is connected to a safety switch as required by the Regulation.

 

After inspecting and testing if the equipment is safe to use, the PCBU must ensure that a durable tag is attached to the equipment that shows the prescribed details. If the equipment is not safe to use, the PCBU must ensure that a durable tag to the equipment is attached that warns people not to use the equipment and the equipment is immediately withdrawn from use.

Prescribed details for a tag include the following:

 

    • at least one of the following:

 

    • the date of the testing or retesting; or

 

    • the day by which the equipment must be reinspected and retested; and

 

    • if the individual who performed the test is employed or engaged by a corporation, at least one of the following:

 

    • the name of the individual;

 

    • the individual’s electrical contractor licence number;

 

    • the name of the corporation; or

 

    • the corporation’s electrical contractor licence number; and

 

    • if the individual who performed the test is not employed or engaged by a corporation, at least one of the following:
        • the name of the individual;
        • the individual’s electrical contractor licence number;
        • the electrical contractor licence number of the individual’s employer; or
        • the individual’s electrical worker licence number.

 

Victoria

In Victoria, there is nothing in law that requires you to test and tag electrical equipment. However, WorkSafe Victoria promotes testing and tagging of electrical equipment as a method of ensuring electrical safety in the workplace. Despite the absence of test and tag requirements in law, an employer has a duty to ensure the workplace is safe and without risks to health in accordance with section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.The Australian New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 3760 In-Service Safety Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment is nationally accepted as the minimum safety protocol for the workplace.

For more information, please refer to Chapter E1 – Electrical Safety in the Health & Safety Handbook.

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