Advice to Employees

Testing and tagging of all portable appliances as per AS3760 should now be the norm in all workplaces. If this is not the case in your workplace, you as an employee should approach your employer and request that this be done as soon as possible. If it is not done, then the employer is breaching his/her duty under Section 21.

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What Is AS 3760?

AS3760 is a document written by Standards Australia that specifies the procedures and criteria for the safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment which is designed for connection by a flexible cord. It also applies to cord extension sets, portable outlet devices, portable residual current devices and portable isolation transformers.

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AS3760 started in 1990, reviewed in 2000, further edition with significant changes in 2001, continuing to mature in 2003, and latest version in 2010 complete revision. Regulation 4.37 of OH&S regulations use of any electrical equipment or RCD at a workplace other than construction & demolition sites and mining operations an employer must ensure that the electrical equipment & RCDs are subject to the appropriate check tests and inspections necessary to reduce the risk of injury or harm to a person in the workplace.

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Why Should I Test & Tag My Equipment?

As people become more aware and concerned with adhering to OH&S laws, great care has to be taken to avoid accidents in the workplace. The presence of regulations protecting employees against company negligence means that the prosecution of the employer in cases of negligence is much more likely and harsher penalties are faced, than in the past.

A well planned program of preventive maintenance, with regular electrical safety checks, is the ideal way to avoid unnecessary and unfortunate accidents, as well as the legal ramifications that follow.

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How Often Do I Have To Get My Equipment Tested?

Every work situation is different and the frequency of testing depends on the environment in question. There may be multiple environments in the one workplace, which means that some appliances may need to be retested in as little as 3 months if the surroundings are harsh. However, if the surrounding environment is less detrimental to the appliance itself, retest dates may extend to a period of anywhere up to 5 years. The best example is of Bond Cleaning in Perth, who get their cleaning equipment checked regularly, to avoid any accidents in the workplace. They are one of the best vacate cleaning company in Perth that provides a 100% guarantee with all bond cleans and ensure your safety.

Australian Standards AS3760 clearly outlines how often portable appliances in different workplace environments must be tested. Testing and inspection intervals for electrical equipment.

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What Does Test And Tagging Involve?

The process of testing appliance involves the following:

Visual Inspection: This is one of the most important tests of the device, especially of the leads. Cords should be firmly anchored in plugs, connections made solid with no frayed ends. Copper terminals should be clean and not pitted.

Electrical Testing: Which the appliance will be tested with various test equipment to test for any unseen electrical faults.

These tests include;

  • an insulation resistance test;
  • earth continuity, earth routine or earth bond test;
  • a polarity test;
  • an earth leakage test.

Record Keeping: Although the AS3760 does not refer to record keeping upon completion of any test, various codes of practices refer to this. In spite of this we recommend all information be recorded comprehensively, whether in a database or by hand in a log book.

Tags: A safety tag must be placed on the appliance verifying its safe approval.

This tag must clearly display:

  • The name of the tester or test companies
  • The date tested or retest date

The above are the only things that are outlined in Australian Standards; however we recommend that the tag should contain both the name of the tester and the test company name, and both the date tested and the retest date.

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What Equipment needs to be tested?

Any appliance within a business that has a flexible cord that plugs into either a single phase 240V power outlet or 3 phase 415V power outlet needs to be tested regularly to ensure that the appliance is electrically safe to use within the workplace. These appliances include anything from computers to toasters, or drills cleaning equipment and other tools to factory machinery. Any appliance within the workplace that is under 16kg or is over 16kg but has a carry handle (which makes it portable), needs to be tested, and continue to be tested in order to adhere to OH&S regulations, and comply with Australian Standards AS3760.

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