How often do I need to test and tag my business equipment?
Testing and tagging your electrical appliances is a mandatory requirement for all businesses within Australia. This ensures that all appliances within a work environment are in good condition and safe to use.
This is a process that can be performed relatively quickly by a licensed electrician. Electrical equipment must be regularly inspected if the appliance is supplied with electricity through an electrical socket, and if it is used in an environment where it is exposed to operating conditions that could damage the appliance.
For Facility Managers, it is vital to keep a regular testing and tagging schedule in order to keep the testing consistent. However, all workplaces are different, and some industries require more vigilant testing and tagging than others.
Luckily, the Australian workplace standards indicate how often the process should be carried out for each industry. These are guidelines though, and you may feel the need to carry out more frequent testing and tagging, depending on the type of environment that your electrical appliances operate in.
Construction, building and demolition
Due to the wide variety and sheer number of electrical devices used on construction sites, it is required by law that businesses operating in these environments should test and tag their equipment every 3 months. These sites can be very harsh in terms of dust, debris and labour intensive work. Therefore, it is likely that appliances or components will break down faster and therefore need to be tagged and tested frequently by a commercial electrician.
Electrical appliances are a vital part of a construction site and without them, work would ultimately stop. To ensure that equipment is functioning correctly at all times, it is extremely important to test it regularly. Failing to do so could result in legal troubles with OH&S organisations, as well as unsafe working conditions for employees on the construction site.
Production, factories and warehouses
Workplaces based around production also utilise many electrical appliances to carry out their work successfully. This includes forklift chargers, extension leads, pumps etc. As they are used on such a consistent basis, it is recommended to tag and test these appliances every 6 months.
It’s ideal to test these appliances before work begins, but often factories and warehouses run 24/7. This means that there will be some equipment which cannot be turned off (pumps, generators etc.). In this case, equipment will need to be clamp tested whilst the machines are still running. If there are machines which can be turned off, make sure there is an operator on site who can switch them off for the electrical contractor.
Offices, laboratories, health care and education facilities
These workplaces can often be considered as “hostile environments” due to the risk of appliances being exposed to moisture, dust and overuse. It is recommended that this type of work environment should be tested and tagged every 12 months to ensure that they are working safely and correctly.
Even computers, printers and lights can be classified as appliances within a hostile environment due to the risk of moisture and dust interference, as well as the consistent use of these machines.
Leaving too much time between tagging and testing can lead to dangerous appliances that may break or potentially even cause an injury. These types of work environments can often be extremely busy and fast-paced, and electrical inspections may not be the highest priority. However, neglecting or postponing inspections can potentially have an impact on employee safety.
An environment that is free from exposure to moisture, dust etc. (such as a server room) can have its electrical appliances tested and tagged every 5 years. If the electrical cords are not subject to flexing or physical abuse, then the same recommendations apply. As these environments can have years between testing and tagging, they can ultimately end up being neglected and forgotten about. However, it’s important to maintain a consistent testing schedule as these appliances are still at risk of damage over time.
Contact a licensed electrician if you require assistance to create a schedule that is suitable for your work environment. They are able to assess the surroundings and determine the best course of action for your business to follow.
Many workplaces will have varying test and tag frequencies due to their own risk management policies and OHS regulations. Keeping a consistent testing and tagging schedule is vital in order to keep appliances in good condition. Always contact a commercial electrician to test and tag your equipment to ensure that appliances are safe and in working order.
Our team of friendly electricians have years of experience, and are dedicated to providing quality commercial electrical services to many businesses across New South Wales. If you’re searching for a licensed electrician in Sydney, or other cities nationally, please contact our team at Elec comm here.