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Is test and tag a legal requirement?

Sarah Allen

Yes it is a legal requirement. WHS regulations in NSW, ACT, TAS, SA, WA and NT state that all equipment used in a higher risk operating environment in which the normal use of electrical equipment exposes the equipment to operating conditions that are likely to result in damage to the equipment or a reduction in its expected life span must be tested and tagged. This higher risk operating environment contains conditions that involve exposure to moisture, heat, vibration, mechanical, damage, corrosive chemicals or dust, and is commonly called a hostile environment.

All items in a hostile environment must therefore be tested and tagged in accordance with AS/NZS 3760:2010 – with retest frequencies varying between 6 monthly and annually depending on sub-environment. In a Construction environments these items are to be tested and tagged in accordance with AS/NZS 3012:2010 with most items being tested 3 monthly.

In order to ensure electrical safety across a broad range of workplaces, the NSW, ACT, TAS, SA, WA and NT Electrical Code of Practice recommends that all items located in a non-hostile environment should be tested and tagged every 5 years in accordance with AS/NZS 3760:2010.

Whilst QLD have enacted the model WHS Act and Regulations, the QLD Electrical Safety Act and Regulations take precedence in that State. Retest frequencies in QLD are based on Classes of Work and range from 3 monthly to 5 yearly.

Victorian regulations are based on the premise of providing a safe workplace, and Worksafe Victoria actively enforce the Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010.

Western Australian regulations are also in line with the requirements of the Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010.