FAQ

What is test and tag?

Test and TagTest and Tag is a process of carefully visually inspecting each appliance for damage to flex, connections, guards, covers and plug by a competent technician. Once the technician is assured the item is safe to electrically inspect, the item’s insulation, earthing and polarity may be tested to ensure it is electrically safe.

Test and Tag is a method of ensuring compliance with Australian WHS and Electrical Safety regulations and workplace safety.

Portable appliances such as power tools and kettles are items that are most frequently handled by workers are also the most open to abuse and hostile environmental conditions – which can cause them to become electrically unsafe. Under most state and territory regulations, these appliances in hostile operating environments must be tested and tagged on a regular basis to ensure their safe operation.

In order to comply with WHS legislation and satisfy your duty of care, all workplaces Australia-wide must be able to demonstrate safe systems of work; as such detailed records of the test are kept by the technician.

Testing and tagging has been implemented in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom as a strategy to ensure the safety of portable electrical appliances in the workplace and is legislated in Australia.

You can refer to more information on our Test and Tag page.

For any questions or to get a FREE Quote please call our National Support Office at 1300 287 669

Do I need to test and tag mobile phone chargers?

Regulations and Standards do not differentiate between personal equipment and company owned equipment. The test and tag of equipment within the workplace is the responsibility of the business owner not the individual who owns the equipment.

Do my double insulated appliances require testing and tagging?

Double insulated appliances (eg drills, angle grinders, and some kitchen appliances) only have two pins - an active and a neutral. The plugs of some double insulated appliances may have an earth pin which is not connected. These items usually have the markings of a square box within a square box or double D. These symbols indicate that the appliance is double insulated.

Double insulated appliances should be tested and tagged in accordance with Table 4 of AS/NZS 3760:2010 or the QLD Electrical Safety Regulations 2013.

What equipment needs testing in my workplace?

All electrical items designed for connection by flexible supply cord and plug top to 240v or 415v volt power needs to be inspected, tested and tagged in every type of workplace, organisation, or community centre.

The following items are excluded from testing and tagging under AS/NZS 3760:2010:-

  • Fixed or hard wired items
  • Items at a height exceeding 2.5mtrs
  • Items which need to be dismantled to establish safety of operation
  • Demonstration items, sample items or new stock in a retail or warehouse outlet

Is there an Australian Standard for testing and tagging?

Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760: 2010 In-Service Safety Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment is the relevant standard for the safety inspection and testing of electrical appliances.

ATSs Managing Director, Ainslie Allen, is a member of the review committee established to provide ongoing review of this important standard.

Is it cheaper to conduct testing and tagging in-house?

If you are contemplating conducting testing and tagging in-house, you will need to consider the purchase of the appropriate equipment along with the ongoing training of your staff.

Some of the main factors to consider are:-

  • Initial and ongoing staff training in testing and tagging
  • Testing Equipment and Printer
  • Test Tags
  • Australian Standards and guidance materials
  • Purchase and training in the use of reporting software

Based on over 15 years of direct testing and tagging experience, we know that an in house test and tag program will cost you more than an outsourced service. An outsourced service also holds the appropriate insurances.

If your organisation is currently conducting an in-house testing program we suggest you compare the internal costs of maintenance to outsourced contract service from ATS. We are confident the results will surprise you!

What types of portable electrical appliances require testing and tagging?

All portable plug in appliances and electrical plug in appliances located in your workplace and plugged in to a power point situated less than 2.5ms from the ground require inspection, testing and tagging.

For example, the following items require testing and tagging:-

  • Laptop Computers
  • Desktop computers and monitors
  • Printers
  • Photocopiers
  • Fax machines
  • Staff kitchen & tea room appliances
  • All electric power tools
  • Extension cords
  • Power boards
  • IEC Leads
  • All double insulated appliances
  • Audio/visual equipment
  • Portable air conditioners
  • Isolation transformers
  • Desk lamps
  • Vacuum cleaners and electrical cleaning equipment
  • Fork lift chargers
  • 3 phase electrical equipment
  • RCD's – Safety Switch

Will testing and tagging damage my electrical equipment?

No. Each individual appliance is assessed prior to testing, and the appropriate test determined and conducted.

All ATS technicians are expertly trained with many years of experience, ensuring your electrical appliances are free from damage.

How long will testing and tagging take?

Depending on the appliance, testing and tagging of each item will take several minutes. Each appliance is comprehensively visually tested prior to any electrical test being conducted. Appliances also require a number of electrical tests to be completed before the item can be deemed to have “passed” the test and tag process.

ATS technicians conduct their testing and tagging as efficiently as possible, ensuring minimal disruption to your daily business activities.

Will I need to turn equipment my off during the test and tag process?

Yes, prior to testing each appliance, the equipment needs to be switched off or “powered down”.

After conducting a risk assessment, should you request an item such as a server to be visually tested only, your ATS technician will not require this item to be powered down.

I have had testing and tagging done, why do some of my items have a Danger tag?

Items with a danger tag have failed testing. They must either be repaired or replaced before reintroduction to the workplace. They are highly dangerous and should not be used under any circumstances.

How do I book my site in for testing and tagging?

Contact the ATS National Support Office on 1300 287 669 and a friendly ATS consultant will make the appropriate arrangements. Alternatively, you can email office@ats.com.au

What tests will ATS do on my appliances?

Under the standard, the following basic tests may be conducted on each appliance:-

  • Visual inspection
  • Insulation resistance
  • Earth continuity
  • Polarity
  • Earth leakage

My electrician completes my testing using a Megger. Isn’t this OK?

No. Testing and tagging using only a multimeter and an insulation tester, or one of the low cost Pass/Fail PAT testers on the market, does not comply with the requirements of AS/NZ3760:2010.

It is mandatory for leakage current tests to be undertaken with equipment that has an electronic, magnetic or membrane type on/off switch. Most modern office equipment uses membrane type On/Off electronic switches as do many power tools. Examples of magnetic switches include new toasters (which will not latch without power applied) and new power tools.

These appliances must be powered up to get past the electronic or magnetic switch, and the item cannot be powered up by testing with a multimeter and insulation tester.

If your provider is testing using only a multimeter and an insulation tester, you may find that your appliances have a fault beyond the switch that cannot be detected through their testing. This type of testing does not satisfy your duty of care to provide a safe workplace.

How frequently do I need to test?

AS/NZS 3760:2010 is specific about re-inspection protocols which vary according to the location of equipment, the environment in which it operates, and the level of risk associated with use.

Testing of items varies from daily in extreme circumstances, monthly, three monthly, six monthly, yearly, two-yearly or five-yearly. In the majority of business situations, testing is required yearly for some items and 5 yearly for items in use in a low risk environment. Timeframes and environments are outlined in Table 4 of the Australian standard.

Ensure your service provider is knowledgeable and accurate about re-inspection time frames as failing to inspect in accordance to the time frames scheduled in Table 4 of AS/NZS 3760: 2010 can mean you are failing to comply with the safety requirements of maintaining a safe workplace, or are testing too frequently!

ATS offer a reminder service to ensure you are always compliant with AS/NZS 3760:2010.

Is there a "tolerance" for retesting in the Standard?

Yes. AS/NZS 3760:2010 specifies a tolerance of 2 weeks prior to the date the appliance is due for retesting, and 2 weeks after the appliance is due for retesting. This gives organisations a 4 week window in which to schedule the retesting of their appliances.

How do I get a copy of my Test and Tag results?

At the conclusion of testing, ATS will email you a link, login and password to download your test and tag results from our secure online reporting portal www.aimportal.com.au

You are able to download your results in PDF, XL or CSV format for ease of data management.

The interactive nature of our secure reporting portal gives you the ability to generate reports for multiple sites or for individual rooms within a site.

What test and tag records need to be kept?

AS/NZS 3760:2010 requires the following record keeping establishing the history of tests:

  • A test tag attached to each item indicating date, item, person performing the test, and status (pass/fail) of test
  • An asset register and historical record of all test items and test results
  • A record of results including faulty item and repair action

What equipment needs testing in my workplace?

All electrical items designed for connection by flexible supply cord and plug top to 240v or 415v volt power needs to be inspected, tested and tagged in every type of workplace, organisation, or community centre.

The following items are excluded from testing and tagging under AS/NZS 3760:2010:-

  • Fixed or “hard wired” items
  • Items at a height exceeding 2.5mtrs
  • Items which need to be dismantled to establish safety of operation
  • Demonstration items, sample items or new stock in a retail or warehouse outlet

In order to satisfy OH&S Legislation, what areas of my workplace need to be tested and tagged?

Portable electrical appliances located in all areas of your workplace need to be tested and tagged. Some of these areas may include:-

  • Office
  • Factory
  • Laboratory
  • Workshop
  • Kitchens and Tea Tooms
  • Classroom / training room / meeting room
  • Construction areas
  • Temporary locations
  • Manufacturing areas
  • Retail sales areas

Where can I get more information on my state legislation?

You can purchase a copy of the Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 from www.standards.org.au

For information on State and National legislation please visit ... //www.appliancetaggingservices.com.au/electrical-safety-regulations

What sort of faults and hazards do ATS find in the workplace?

When conducting testing and tagging, ATS technicians come across many of the following electrical safety hazards:-

  • Frayed cords
  • Wiring faults (even on brand new items!)
  • Safety switches (RCD’s) not working
  • Earthing system faulty
  • Incorrect wiring
  • Unsafe and hazardous environments
  • Electrical appliances exposed to moisture, corrosion, vibration

What should I expect from a quality testing and tagging service provider?

Your test and tag service provider should be able to give you specialist knowledge, expertise and assistance in meeting your compliance obligations - not just simply placing tags on flexible cords.

Your expert test and tag provider will be able to:-

  • Explain relevant sections of your WHS and Electrical Safety legislation
  • Explain relevant sections of the Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010
  • Advise you of your electrical safety obligations under the standards and WHS legislation
  • Identify the correct retest time frames for your appliances in accordance with the standard and WHS legislation
  • Identify the items that require testing under the standard and WHS legislation
  • Answer all your electrical safety questions on site
  • Provide you with a detailed electronic report of all testing and tagging completed on site
  • Contact you when your items require retesting to schedule a convenient time

A quality test and tag provider will provide you with piece of mind that your electrical safety obligations are satisfied, and will remove the compliance headache.

Who can perform my testing?

Under the terms of the Australian Standard, the following people can complete Testing and Tagging:-

  • A licensed electrician
  • A competent person who has sufficient knowledge and training on a continuing basis to undertake current inspection and test procedures.

Please note, QLD Electrical Safety legislation specifies that Testing and Tagging can only be completed by a suitably trained and qualified person holding a Restricted Electrical Contractors License.

All ATS technicians hold the appropriate licenses and qualifications required to conduct Testing and Tagging in all states of Australia.

Does second-hand electrical equipment require testing prior to resale?

Some state legislation specifies all second hand electrical equipment must be inspected, tested and tagged prior to resale. Should you wish to on-sell a second hand electrical appliance; ATS recommend you contact the Office of Electrical Safety in your state for further advice.

How much does a Test and Tag program cost?

ATSs test and tag cost structure is based on the number of unit tests we complete for you. For a detailed individual quotation please call ATS on 1300 287 669.

I have just purchased a new item does ATS need to check this?

In Australia, newly purchased items do not need to be tested upon entry to service; however under AS/NZS 3760:2010 they must be tagged upon introduction to the workplace to indicate they are newly purchased and not simply missed in a previous round of testing.

The applied tag must state the appliance is New to Service, that is has not been tested, and must indicate the date in which it will be tested.

Your ATS technician, or the ATS support office, can provide you with New to Service tags to serve this purpose.

Our power tools and appliances have worked for years. How can anything be wrong with them now?

Appliances can still function when they are unsafe.

Here are two common scenarios:

a) The Earth (Green) wire (inside the cord) becomes severed or detached from the metal appliance casing. In this case, the appliance will still appear to function normally. However, if a fault occurs and electrical current flows to the metal casing, a person who touches the appliance will suffer an electric shock.

b) The cord of a frequently used appliance such as a power drill becomes worn internally. The cord looks normal on the outside, but inside, the copper wires protrude through the insulation, and begin to short circuit. There is a real risk of an electrical fire in this case.

How many items fail testing?

Over 15 years of experience has shown us that 5% of all appliances we test are unsafe. Most of these faulty appliances have the potential to cause electric shock, electrocution, or electrical fire. On many sites we have tested, the failure rates have been as high as 10%.

On an initial round of RCD testing, up to 10% will fail to trip and therefore fail testing.

Can ATS repair my items if they fail testing?

ATS are committed to ensuring your business experiences minimal disruption during the testing and tagging of your items. ATS therefore offer a convenient on site Plug and Socket repair service and can supply replacement Extension Leads, IEC Leads and Powerboards.

Please note, due to state legislation, on site Plug and Socket repairs are not permitted to be completed by ATS in QLD.

ATS can also supply Fire Extinguishers and arrange for the repair of RCDs and Exit and Emergency Lighting systems.