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Why Testing and Tagging is Important

RCD Safety Switch - test and tag

Does your workplace regularly check the safety of electrical equipment? Safety in the workplace is crucial, so perhaps it’s time to book in a test and tag service.

Testing and tagging the portable appliances in your business is an important safety measure. Here are seven reasons why you should have a testing and tagging schedule in place for your business.

#1: Duty of care

As a business owner and manager, you have a duty of care to everyone who works in or visits your business to protect their personal safety while they are on your premises. Testing and tagging the portable appliances used in your business on a regular basis, is part of your responsibility to your team and your customers. Failure to take the necessary measures to ensure your business is a safe electrical environment could result in you being held liable for any damage or injury resulting from an electrical accident.

#2: Ensures that you are providing a safe working environment

Everyone has the right to a safe environment. Whether you are working in a business, visiting a business’s premises as a supplier or simply a customer of the business, you should be confident that the place you are working in or visiting is safe and that all electrical appliances and equipment used on site are compliant with safety standards and in safe working order.

Testing and tagging is one way as a business owner that you can ensure you are providing a safe working environment. It’s worth also considering safety switch testing and electrical fault loop testing as these tests also assist to keep your business safe from electrical faults. Safety switch testing protects against electric shocks and earth safety checks ensure that all your electrical circuits are working as they should.

#3: Keeps your premises safe

Testing and tagging doesn’t just protect the people in your business. It also protects your business premises and your contents and stock. Testing and tagging protects you from having faulty electrical appliances in your business. Faulty electrical appliances can start electrical fires that could cause significant damage to your business – both in property damage, stock and contents damage and loss of trading and future income. Consider testing and tagging an insurance to keep your business safe.

#4: Keeps your business compliant

In some industries testing and tagging is mandatory, and you must conduct regular testing and tagging to meet OHS and WHS requirements. If your business operates in the construction, demolition or mining industries then all appliances must be tested and tagged every three months, or your business will be in violation of Australian safety standards.

Testing and tagging is stipulated for these industries because they are viewed as having hostile working environments, meaning that it would be easy for an appliance to be damaged in the normal course of business.

If you hire out equipment as part of your business, then there are stipulations under the Australian standard AS NZS 3760.2010 which apply to your business. Electrical equipment that is hired out must be checked visually before every hire and needs to be tested and tagged every three months. Even if your business isn’t in one of these industries, it’s still recommended that you have all your appliances tested and tagged regularly. Your test and tag technician can advise how often this should happen, but for most businesses, testing and tagging is recommended every 12 months. If your place of business is a factory, workshop, a place of manufacture, assembly or fabrication, then testing and tagging is recommended every six months.

#5: Saves you money

Testing and tagging your electrical appliances regularly using a reputable test and tag provider can save your business money in the long term. Testing and tagging protects you from costs that could result from an electrical accident or electrical fire. And such costs could be significant. Testing and tagging helps you avoid the direct costs to your business (such as the loss of stock) that would result from such an incident plus indirect costs such as increased insurance premiums and personal injury claims.

Energy bills can sometimes be a major component of a business’s monthly costs. Making sure that all appliances in your business are working correctly and not draining more energy than they need to operate at their optimum, helps keep your energy costs as low as possible.

Checking your electrical circuits with electrical fault loop testing also helps ensure that your electrical circuits are operating correctly and as efficiently as possible.

What is Electrical Compliance Testing

#6: Gives you peace of mind

Testing and tagging gives you peace of mind that every appliance operating in your business is safe to use. That’s important to ensure the safety of your team and visitors to your premises. It’s also important because it helps to protect your premises.

Many business owners (especially in larger, multi-site operations) don’t realize the number of appliances that are used on site in their business that don’t belong to them and that they have no oversight of. It’s the kettle that the accounts team brought in so they can make a cup of tea in their area, the toaster the mechanics have out in the back workshop, and the microwave that the sales team thought would make a good addition to the kitchen on their floor – none of which are owned or logged by the business and could easily be a safety hazard.

That’s where testing and tagging can help. Testing and tagging appliances in your business involves testing every appliance (whether it is owned by your business or not) to ensure that it is safe to operate. So, if the microwave that belongs to one of the sales team is leaking radiation, it will fail the leakage test. And if the toaster in the workshop has a faulty plug, it won’t pass either. Conversely if the appliances are all safe to operate, everyone will be secure in that knowledge.

If there are a lot of appliances used in your business, then ask your test and tag technician to tag the appliances all in the same colour — using a different colour on each visit. This is mandated in the construction, mining and demolition industries and the colours are specified according to the season. In other industries, it doesn’t matter what colour the technician uses as long as it’s the same one for every appliance tested on that occasion.

Using one colour tag per visit is an additional safety check for you. If the last colour used was yellow and you see an appliance being used with a burgundy tag, you know immediately that it either missed the last test in which case it’s not compliant or that it’s been brought from another site in which case you need to check the tag to see that it’s still safe to use.

#7: Minimizes risk

It’s always best to minimize risk in your business through prevention. Testing and tagging is one way you can minimize the risk of electrical faults in your business. You also minimize risk when you choose who to do the testing and tagging in your business. Make sure you choose a reputable provider who operates under the safety standard AS NZS 3760.2010. Test & Tag have over 150 franchises across Australia and all their technicians are specialists who are trained in how to conduct electrical compliance testing.

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