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Work Health and Safety Blog

There's so much happening in the world of health & safety. Changes in legislation and requirements, changes in best practice, changes in ... you name it. Here's my take on making it simple. Simply Genius WHS - stop guessing... manage with confidence.

Testing and tagging of electrical equipment - in a nutshell

Maralyn Kastel - Monday, March 22, 2010

Non-hostile work environment In many work environments, certain electrical equipment does not need a rigorous inspection and testing procedure due to its inherent low level of risk.  These areas are likely to be offices and clean work environments and are considered to be non-hostile work areas.

Hostile work environment
This is a work environment where normal operating of any electrical equipment may:

  1. Cause mechanical damage to the item of equipment or
  2. Expose the item of equipment to moisture, heat, vibration, corrosive substances or dust that is likely to result in damage to the equipment
Low risk electrical equipment
This includes:

  1. Electric kettles, toasters, computers, and similar electrical appliances commonly used in small business offices
  2. Equipment that is fixed and stationary when being used, eg photocopiers.  Its size requires that it is located in a specific location.
  3. Stationary equipment that does not have carrying handles and has a mass exceeding 18 kg
  4. Equipment that is not likely to be damaged when being used, eg non-moveable equipment and includes electrical equipment and flexible supply leads that we use in our non-hostile work environment.
High risk electrical equipment
The following are examples of high risk electrical equipment used in a hostile environment that requires regular testing and tagging.

 Examples of electrical equipment to be tested & tagged

Electrical equipment requiring regular testing and tagging (includes hired and repaired equipment) Examples of equipment and environment
Electrical equipment used for construction work Portable
  1. Power tools, extension leads, power boards
  2. Lighting equipment
  3. Welders
  4. Electric concrete mixers
Electrical equipment used in a hostile work environment where equipment is used in operating conditions that are likely to damage the equipment Where the electrical equipment can be damaged by:
  1. Moisture
  2. Heat
  3. Vibration
  4. Corrosive substances or dust
And may be used in:
  1. Wet or dusty areas
  2. Outdoors
  3. Commercial kitchens
  4. Where there are corrosive materials
  5. Factory-type environments includes, assembly, fabrication, manufacturing, refurbishment or repair

Competent person

A competent person to test and tag electrical equipment is someone who has thorough training / experience (or a combination) the knowledge and skills to perform the task. 

This includes:
  1. Licensed electrician
  2. Persons with restricted electrical licenses – issued by the NSW Office of Fair Trading or equivalent State agency.

What you need to do
Develop an electrical checklist to determine if there is a need for maintenance, service, repair or testing and tagging of electrical equipment, so that you make sure your electrical equipment is safe.

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