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The acquisition of electrical appliances has gone a long way in making life easier for people. It is a great wonder how people survived centuries past without some of them because most of us have become so used to these appliances that life without them could be a great deal more complicated.

However, it is not enough to only buy electrical appliances; it is equally essential to ensure that they are in good condition so they will give you optimal value for money. But if your electrical equipment is experiencing any issues, it's essential to consult an expert to help you find a solution.

What Is Test And Tag?

Test and tag is a term used by professionals that connotes the standard procedure of conducting inspections over portable electrical appliances. The process is carried out just so that it can be confirmed they are in good working condition. Testing and tagging are believed to facilitate better performance and guarantee safety.

How Testing And Tagging Is Done

There are mainly two steps that are involved in carrying out this standard procedure. First, check if any defect can be noticed on the electronic device. Secondly, determine if the appliance is malfunctioning, which can be done with a portable appliance tester. After inspecting and testing the appliance, it is necessary to attest that it has been tested.

Thereafter, a label showing the tester's name, the date it was tested, and the date for the next round of testing are put on it. The chief reason for doing this is to give reasonable assurance for protecting those needing to use the appliance. Apart from this, the test and tag process does not affect the welfare at work in any way.

An essential part of the whole process is the knowledge that it will reduce the risk of electronic danger that may occur if faulty. If these steps are taken, the overall damage to the appliance may remain the same. The process helps to confirm that the appliance is properly maintained and in good condition for present and future use.

There are some places where it is optional to carry out the test and tag procedures. However, it is a useful approach for employers to align with the legal requirements of making sure that the safety of all plug-in electrical equipment is in place.

Which Equipment Should You Tag And Test?

Devices with removable plugs come with flexible cords and use high voltage, such as portable RCDs (Residual Current Devices) and extension leads. Portable electrical appliances can be classified according to the following classes:

  • Class I – Appliances that are earthed, such as kettles, toasters, and irons.
  • Class II – Appliances with double insulation, such as electric drills and hair dryers.

The Duration For Test And Tag Procedures

According to standard regulations pertaining to building and mining industries, it is required that test and tag procedures should be done after every three months on their electronic devices.

Tests and tags are not considered necessary in other firms as opposed to the necessity for testing and tagging in building and mining firms, for example. Nonetheless, it is expected that any company owner should ensure that the devices they use should not cause any harm to employees.

The company's owner will be held responsible when an employee sustains bodily injury due to a faulty appliance. Therefore, it is a part of employers' responsibility to ensure that all portable electronic devices used in their companies are well-attested.

For example, where items are leased out, the hirer needs to check the device properly before renting it out. In addition, the hirer should conduct testing of the device every three months to confirm that it is properly maintained.

Who Can Test And Tag Electrical Equipment?

The general belief many have is that electronic devices need to be tested and tagged by electricians. It is permissible for any competent person in Australia to carry out testing and tagging. By learning how to use a portable appliance tester PAT, an individual can acquire the needed skill for testing and tagging.

Interested persons can be considered by AS/NZS 3760:2010, but they will have to keep up with whatever standard gives new data. Attaining test and tag competency can be achieved when an individual completes training and gains qualifications or garners experience.

The individual can also improve by combining these two qualities. While you may receive a test and tag licence or certificate, there is currently no formal registration system for technicians who conduct tests and tags. While people interested in testing and tagging can easily acquire the skill, there is a caveat.

The Electrical Safety Regulations 2013 make it mandatory for only a competent person to inspect electrical equipment. A test and tag personnel should have the following competencies:

  • Knowledge of visual inspection of portable electrical devices.    
  • The skill for distinguishing between protectively earthed and double-insulated electrical equipment.
  • The ability to conduct earthing continuity tests on electrical appliances while staying compliant.
  • The ability to conduct the insulation resistance tests as stipulated by the standards.
  • The ability to test safety switches or residual current devices according to standards.
  • Possess knowledge of correctly using appropriate testing equipment and understanding the results.
  • Understand whatever electrical safety legislation or regulations have to do with the area where they do testing and tagging.

The individual conducting this task must understand what to look for and what should be done.

How This Relates To You

Your status as a self-employed person or an employer makes it necessary to ensure that the person who comes around for inspection, testing, and tagging of your electrical equipment is competent.

You can hire third-party testers

If you want to avoid purchasing a PAT tester of your own and get some of your workers trained on how it can be used, there are third-party service providers you can hire to carry out the task. However, many companies go with the first option for different reasons.

  • They can schedule the test and tag procedure to conform to their regular work hours.
  • Workflow disruption is minimised.
  • The company's productivity is maintained.

This approach is also more economical when many portable appliances must be tested. It is also good if you think your equipment can be damaged. Your equipment can be damaged if it is constantly exposed to chemical corrosion, moisture, high heat, or mechanical wear and tear.

Faulty devices must have a tag of electrical malfunction

Once a device has been identified as faulty, a tag of electrical malfunction should be attached to it to show it is out of action. Moreover, its repair can only be done by a registered electrical professional.

When it is necessary to put a tag of electrical equipment on a device, it must be done by a professional. This is because it is regarded as an offence under ES Regulations when an appliance is falsely or incorrectly labelled as follows electrical safety. Anyone guilty of this offence can be convicted of a level 2 penalty.

Test report of conformity

An appliance or a low-voltage fitting can be confirmed to be safe to use with a test report or certificate of conformity which can serve as conclusive evidence. This can also prove that you have taken steps as an employer to ensure you have an electrically safe worksite.

Hire A Testing And Tagging Expert

While it is not compulsory for you to do the testing and tagging yourself, you must get a competent person to handle the task. Issues that can compromise the health and safety of you and your staff as an employer can be avoided by allowing professionals to handle the job for you. If you want to use a PAT tester, you still need to be cautious in following the required guidelines.