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Microwave Leakage Testing



Microwave Leakage Testing

What is Microwave Oven Radiation?

Whenever a microwave oven is turned on, radioactive energy is produced causing the water in food to vibrate rapidly. This rapid vibration produces heat, which in turn cooks the food. The energy produced by a microwave oven can also penetrate through living tissue which is why exposure is harmful to our health.

Once you turn off the oven, the microwaves disappear but until then, you may be exposing yourself to dangerous levels of radiation leakage.  

What causes Microwave Ovens to leak?

Slamming the door, dirt or food particles caught in the door seals and hinges, or basic wear and tear all cause the oven door to slightly separate from the oven enclosure. Once this happens, invisible, but highly dangerous microwaves leak through the small space and cause irreversible damage and injury to the user.  

Microwave leakage testing will determine whether your microwave has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer safe to use.

Am I required by law to test my Microwave Oven?

Employers and PCBU legal duty of care are not limited to Electrical Appliance Testing and Tagging. There are many other electrical safety issues within the workplace covered by WHS legislation, and one of these is the testing of Microwave Ovens for harmful radiation leakage.

What tests are completed?

The unit is inspected for any obvious physical damage to ensure safety as per AS/NZS 3760:2010 and AS/NZS 60335.2.25 Household and similar electrical appliances - Safety - Particular requirements for microwave ovens including combination microwave ovens.

Our expert technicians then complete a Radiation Leakage Inspection on your Microwave Oven on site in accordance with AS/NZS 60335.2.25. This involves the measurement of radiation levels around the oven using an advanced Microwave Radiation Leakage Detector to ensure they are below limits specified in AS/NZS 60335.2.25.  Please note domestic radiation leakage detectors DO NOT comply with WHS specifications for testing equipment, and ATS technicians only use specialist equipment.

ATS technicians also complete an electrical safety test in accordance with AS/NZS 3760:2010. Once the unit has been tested and passed, a sticker detailing AS/NZS 60335.2.25 certification label indicating radiation and power levels is affixed to the front door of the Microwave to clearly display the unit is safe to use.  A tag detailing AS/NZS 3760:2010 compliance is affixed to the power lead.  

What happens if the unit fails testing?

If the unit fails testing, a failed appliance sticker is affixed to the front door of the Microwave. ATS technicians ensure key staff are made aware of the faulty appliance and the Microwave Oven is then removed from service in order to provide a safe workplace.

Reference Materials

Below are some useful links to materials on the safe use of Microwave Ovens produced by the Australian Government, CSIRO and US FDA

CSIRO Microwave Oven Safety 

US FDA 5 Tips for Using your Microwave Oven Safely 

Australian Government Microwave Ovens and Health