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Mobile Phone Chargers

Sarah Allen

We are consistently asked whether testing and tagging includes the testing and tagging of mobile phone chargers.

WHS regulations and AS/NZS 3760:2010 is designed for workplaces and all portable electrical equipment within that workplace. Regulations and Standards do not differentiate between personal equipment and company owned equipment. Our view of the regulations is that if it is on your premises, then it is deemed part of the workplace regardless of who actually owns the equipment. That view is also supported by the fact many organisations have a “no personal items” policy for their workplace and the Australian Standard that states the test and tag of leased equipment is the responsibility of the leasee not the leasor.

Mobile phone chargers are always (along with the dreaded personal fans and heaters) a question we are asked. We have always looked at it this way. How do you differentiate between company owned phones / chargers and personal ones? In reality, how does a technician charged with testing and tagging differentiate when they are on site? And more importantly, based on the known safety concerns and subsequent hazards associated with cheap imported USB chargers, how as a responsible business do you ensure the safety of your workers while they are at work?

If it was me, I would include mobile phone chargers in your test and tag program as an annual test – not because of the regulations, but because of the number of them that have caught fire or given people electric shock in the past. Personally, I think its too much of a risk to leave them out. Test and tag is about risk management, and we are very aware of the published problems with USB chargers so we have a responsibility to manage the known risk.

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