Legal expert Katherine Hawes from Digital Age Lawyers Says Avoid Penalties
Complying to test and tag requirements is important for electricians in the building industry.
According to tradie legal expert, Katherine Hawes from New Age Legal Solutions, no matter where in Australia you or your business operates, you are subject to rules about testing and tagging electrical appliances which are used in the course of business.
About the legal standards?
According to Katherine: “The AS/NZS 3760:2010 specifies the generally observed safety inspection and maintenance standards in Australia. These standards should be seen as a minimum requirement, with consideration also given to the type of environment in which the appliance is located, such as building and construction, or warehouses and production.”
What are the basic testing requirements?
The standards impose the following basic tests be conducted on each included appliance:
- Visual inspection
- Insulation resistance
- Earth continuity
- Earth leakage
Are there any exclusions to the standards?
“Yes. Certain items are excluded from the AS/NZS 3760 standards. While these items are exempt from the standards, it is strongly recommended that you take responsibility for your own equipment by testing and/or tagging in the interests of safety,” says Katherine.
However, there are also exemptions from the standards including:
- Fixed or “hard wired” items
- Items at a height above 2.5 metres
- Items which require dismantling in order to establish safety of operation
- Demonstration items, samples, or new stock in a retail or warehouse store
What are the requirements for retesting?
The retesting requirements for electrical appliances are quite detailed and will depend upon your specific circumstances.
You can find a useful table summarising the information online at SAI Global or AS/NZS 3760:2010.
Are there any record keeping requirements?
Katherine confirms that there are. Some of these include:
- A test tag must be attached to each electrical appliance tested which indicates the date, item, person performing the test, the status of the test (pass or fail), and the reset date.
- All items and test results should have historical record and asset register.
- There should be a record of all the results of testing plus any faults and corresponding solution.
Always get professional advice
If you are unsure of how the test and tag requirements apply to you or your business, it is worthwhile to seek legal advice.
The cost of doing so is minimal when compared to the penalties you could face from authorities, or the cost of equipment malfunctioning and causing damage or injury.
For a discussion about your situation, contact Katherine Hawes from New Age Legal Solutions.