10 Nov How to test and tag electrical equipment?
Test and Tag refer to the process of checking the safety of portable electrical appliances consisting of two parts. First, a certified test and tag professional will inspect the appearance of the appliances for any damage. Second, the appliances will be subjected to electrical testing with a portable appliance tester.
Once tested, the item is placed with a tag to confirm that it has been tested and cleared for issues. The tag also shows who tested it, the test date, and when the next test is due. So why is test and tag important?
It is important to test and tag appliances because it ensures safety for the people who will use the appliances. If you want to learn more about testing and tagging, read on to learn the following steps.
Inspecting and testing electrical equipment
Inspecting and testing electrical equipment helps evaluate whether the appliances are electrically safe for consumers. It is a safety protocol required under Australian laws. That is why, as consumers, you can see tags in the electronic equipment you have utilized.
Not all electrical items require inspection and testing. It depends on the nature and risks associated with the electrical equipment. Regular inspection can help identify obvious electrical damage such as peels, cracks, or missing screws.
Here is how inspecting and testing electrical equipment can be done.
Inspect for visible damages and defects to the electrical equipment including accessories, connectors, plugs, or cord extension sockets
- Check the integrity and reliability of the insulation resistance.
- Check whether the electric cords are effectively anchored to equipment, plugs, connectors, and cord extension sockets
- Look for damages, cracks, and peels from the flexible cords
- Check operating controls whether they are in good working condition and if they are secure for usage
- Check the ventilation inlets and exhausts whether they are unobstructed
Lower risk environments
Electrical equipment used for lower risk does not require testing and tagging. Lower-risk environments include those workplaces that are dry, clean, and well-organized. These places include offices, retail shops, a telecommunications center, a classroom, and many more. Some examples of electrical equipment that are used in this environment include computers, photocopies, stationery, or fixed electrical equipment.
However, depending on council requirements and government standards, inspection for electrical equipment can still be required in lower-risk environments. Manufacturers will have to take responsibility for testing and tagging equipment before sending out the products to the public.
Brand-new equipment doesn’t have to be tested before the first use. However, they still need to be visually inspected to ensure that it doesn’t have any damage occurring during transport. Sometimes, brand-new equipment can break due to poor courier handling and delivery. If the brand-new equipment is okay for use and doesn’t have defects, it will be tagged as “New to Service”.
However, if brand-new electrical equipment requires regular checking and maintenance for safety, you need to make sure it doesn’t miss the first required test. On the tag, additional information will be placed such as the date of entry into service, the date when it was first checked, and that the equipment has not been tested. Alternatively, a different system may be put into place to ensure that electrical equipment is properly inspected and tested. For example, you can include the new equipment in the next round of testing.
Higher-risk Operating Environments
Individuals involved in the business of managing and controlling electrical equipment need to ensure that the electrical equipment is regularly inspected and tested by a competent person.
One of the main things it should be checked for is the “plug-in” equipment. Does the electrical equipment supply electricity through an electrical socket? If so, will the equipment be used in an environment that makes it prone to damage?
If electrical equipment is utilized in a hazardous environment, proper action should be taken. For example, if the environment is prone to moisture and flooding, the electrical equipment must be stored in a safe location. Since electrical equipment can suffer damage when exposed to water, they require safe and dry storage after using them.
If you’re in the business of hiring electrical equipment, you must ensure that the equipment is inspected at the start of each hire and tested every three months. You also need to make sure that the equipment passes all testing and tagging requirements throughout the period of the hire.
For all of the above scenarios, you must keep a record of the test and tag until the next testing or the equipment is completely disposed of. You need to take note of the name of the person who carried out the testing, the date of testing, the result, and when the next testing is going to be. You can keep a separate record or logbook for all or attach it to the electrical equipment in the form of a tag.
Who can Test and Tag?
Test and tag cannot simply be done by anybody. A competent person with complete qualifications and other pertinent credentials must perform the test and tag. It can be a person or company that has relevant knowledge, skills, and test instruments to meet the different inspection requirements for each electrical equipment. The person must also be competent to make precise interpretations of the test results of any equipment used. The following are additional requirements to become a competent test and tag.
- Licensed or registered electricians
- Licensed electrical inspector
- A person who has successfully completed a structured test and tag training course
Test and tag are important processes for ensuring that electrical equipment is safe for use. If you are engaged in construction, demolition, and mining sites, commercial and non-commercial kitchens, hotels, fixed office equipment, construction, mining, and demolition you can contact The Local Guys for test and tag services. Moreover, other workplaces and industries should have a risk management approach to schedule their test and tag services at the right time. Give us a call to request a quote.