What is Electrical Testing and Tagging?
Electrical testing and tagging is a process used to ensure that any electrical tools, machines or appliances on a worksite are regularly checked to ensure they are in good working order physically and electrically.
The process of electrical testing and tagging requires each electrical item to be visually inspected and then electrically tested on a Portable Appliance Tester (PAT machine).
After successfully passing both tests, a tag is attached to the appliance detailing the item’s identification number, date of test and date of next test.
Why Do We Test and Tag Electrical Equipment?
The simple answer is safety. The only other additional and acceptable answer to this question is that health and safety laws require all employers to identify and control any hazards in the workplace that pose a health or safety risk.
Workplace electrocution deaths in Australia have been declining over the last 20 years, mainly due to the uptake in the construction industry of electrical testing and tagging during this period.
Why Do We Test and Tag Electrical Equipment?
The successful implementation of electrical testing and tagging in Australia is the single biggest contributor to the reduction of electrocution deaths on Australian worksites.
20 Years ago the death rate for electrocutions on worksites was 5 times the death rate of today.
How to Test and Tag Electrical Equipment
To begin with, the appliance needs to be visually inspected for any damage to the item, cord and plug.
If the electrical item passes the visual inspection, it then needs to be electrically tested on a Portable Appliance Tester (PAT machine).
If no fault is found, the appliance will have an electrical test tag placed on it as proof of its latest electrical test.
How Often Should Electrical Equipment Be Tested and Tagged?
This depends on the type of environment the appliance is in.
All portable electrical equipment (including hire equipment such as hand tools and electric scissor lifts), must be tested every 3 months. Other items that are not portable and not in a volatile environment may only need to be tested every 2 – 5 years.
Who Can Test and Tag Electrical Equipment?
Section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic.) requires that employers provide an adequate level of information, instruction, training and supervision to employees to enable them to work safely.
Australian Standard AS 3760 In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment outlines the requirements for training and specifies tagging intervals.
Do You Need a Licence to Test and Tag?
Whilst you don’t need a licence to electrically test and tag equipment, you must be able to prove competence
The following units of competency are considered as adequate training:
- UEERL0003 Conduct in-service safety testing of electrical cord connected equipment and cord assemblies
- UEECD0007 Apply work health and safety regulations, codes and practices in the workplace
How Long Does the Electrical Test and Tag Course Take?
To maintain currency as an Electrical Tester and Tagger, you must be able to prove continued competence. Employers commonly require retraining (I.e. refresher training) to provide proof of ongoing competence.
Do I Need an Electrical Test and Tag Refresher Course?
Employers need to be able to prove the continuing competence of their employees. Therefore refresher training is an important element to ensure continued safety on worksites. Whilst not regulated, employers commonly require retraining every 3 years.
How Much is an Electrical Test and Tag Course?
An electrical Test and Tag course costs around $500. Pretty good value when you consider the earning potential in this growing industry.
Does WAM Training run Electrical Test and Tag courses?
The Electrical Testing and Tagging course offered by WAM Training is suitable for anyone who wants to conduct single phase electrical testing and tagging in the workplace using a Portable Appliance Tester (PAT machine).
WAM Training provides a 1 day course for anyone over 18 years old. Some experience working with safety-related paperwork is preferred but is not a course entry requirement. Additional courses that relate to the Electrical Test and Tag course include the following:
Need to Learn More About WAM Training’s Electrical Test and Tag Course?
To learn more about WAM Training’s Electrical Test and Tag course, check out the course page.