ABOUT JEZ TEST & TAG
The standard operating hours of Jez Test and Tag are 7:30am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday. We appreciate that the testing and tagging process may cause disruption to a workplace, for this reason we will always work with the client to ensure minimal disruption. This may mean testing certain items during staff breaks, or arranging to perform the testing outside of our standard working hours.
This is a bit of a “How long is a piece of string” question. The answer depends very much on the size of a business, how many simple and complex devises you have, and how easy everything is to get to. Testing and tagging should be looked at like an insurance policy. If there were an incident at your workplace, and regular testing and tagging had not been carried out in accordance with the requirements of AS/NZS 3760:2010, it could result in very costly penalties for the business owner or Responsible Person, in both financial and personal terms. When considered from this point of view, paying for professional testing and tagging is some of the cheapest business insurance you will get! We are happy to provide a free site visit to discuss your requirements.
As a mobile inspection and testing service we are happy to come to you wherever you are located. Currently the areas we service include Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula, the Surf Coast through to Lorne, the Victorian Western District including Colac and Ballarat, and the Western suburbs of Melbourne. If you need us, we can be there!
Jez Test and Tag is happy to provide its services to anyone. If you are an individual or business that employs people you must comply with AS/NZS 3760:2010. If you have to comply with the standard, we can provide the service you need!
Yes! We operate under a Quality Management System that complies with the requirements of ISO 9001:2016. Our management system includes documented procedures that cover all of the different tests that we undertake, as well as procedures covering the key types of equipment and appliances we test. It also includes comprehensive safety protocols that incorporate best-practice OH&S methods that ensure the safety of both our staff and clients. Our management system is reviewed and audited by one of the region’s leading certification consultancies, AssessmentsRus.
Once the inspection, test and tag process has been completed, Jez Test and Tag provides a comprehensive Test Report that satisfies all of the requirements of AS/NZS 3760:2010 and includes:- A register of electrical equipment; Records of formal inspection and tests; and A record of all faulty equipment showing details of services or corrective actions. The report can be provided in several formats, including a CD that provides you with your own version of Seaward’s PATGuard reporting software. The report includes equipment make, model and serial number, what location/area within your workplace the equipment resides, when the next test is due, who performed the tests, and detailed test results (not just Pass/Fail comments). Jez Test and Tag will provide you with a copy of your Test Report and maintain the master copy for 7 years to provide you with these vital records if your copies are ever lost or destroyed. Jez Test and Tag also provide complimentary reminder notifications when your equipment is due for retesting.
Best practice dictates that one cannot “audit” their work. For this reason, we do not offer any form of repair or maintenance service. We are committed to being a premier test and tag service and direct all of our resources to achieve this goal. We are happy to help you find a reputable electrician or repairer in your area if the need arises.
Jez Test and Tag have made a considerable investment to provide a service that uses state-of-the-art equipment that complies with all of the requirements of all relevant standards. This equipment includes: – Seaward PrimeTest Elite – PAT testers; ProTag Elite – portable tag printers; Bar-coded tagging system; and Seaward PatGuard3 Elite – reporting software
It used to be that the boss was the one who was liable when accidents happened in the workplace. However, modern OHS regulations and practices acknowledges that EVERYONE in the workplace is responsible for maintaining a safe environment, and anyone can face penalties for failing to do so. A phrase regularly used in the modern workplace regarding responsibility for safety is “You see it, you own it”. This means that if you are aware of a hazard or unsafe practice, at the very least, you have a responsibility to report it. The test and tag standard (AS/NZS 3760:2010) defines a person responsible for the safety of electrical equipment as “The owner of the premises; OR the owner of the electrical equipment; OR a person who has a legal responsibility for the safety of electrical equipment within the scope of the standard.” Reference: AS/NZS 3760:2010, section 1.4.19
The answer to this question depends very much on the size of a business, and the skillsets your staff possess. That is, if a business employs people with electrical technical skills you may save on training, and if the business is large and has lots of electrical equipment it may provide a saving. Some of the cost considerations are the need for initial and on-going training (both in terms of course cost and cost of having staff attend), costs of purchasing suitable test equipment (including the time it takes staff to become proficient at using the equipment), and the cost of creating test reports and managing the system as required by AS/NZS 3760:2010. However, there is more to consider than just dollar savings. A quality PAT tester and peripherals can cost several thousand dollars, if it is costing a few hundred dollars a year to have a professional service do the testing and tagging (which is actually at the higher end of the scale) it will take many years to recoup the expense. An in-house tester will have a very limited range of experience and will only perform the task a few times a year at best. While a professional tester will have developed a vast amount of experience on a wide range of appliances, and is constantly practising, honing and improving their skills and knowledge through regular application.
The short answer is YES (unless you are offering equipment for hire). The standard has provision to allow flexibility for customized solutions in particular environments. Organisations may substitute other periods than those indicated in Table 4 of the standard, after conducting a documented risk assessment in accordance with AS/NZS ISO 31000 “Risk Management – Principles and Guidelines”. However, conducting such a documented risk assessment can be a complicated and costly exercise, and if not done properly may not be viewed by the applicable Regulatory Authority as acceptable. Also, there is no guarantee that your assessment will determine that test frequencies can be extended.
The term “Hostile Environment” sounds pretty ominous and you may look around at your workplace and think it isn’t at all hostile (to you), but the term means in relation to electrical equipment, not humans. An environment that is considered hostile for electrical equipment is one where there is a reasonable possibility of damage (physical or mechanical) occurring as a result of exposure to a number of elements including vibration, dust, moisture, heat, chemicals, fumes or impact. Using these parameters most offices would be considered hostile environments. Let’s take a look at the computer on your desk. That cup of coffee could get knocked over (moisture hazard), you often catch your feet on the cables under your desk (impact/vibration hazard), and when was the last time you opened your computer’s cover to remove dust from the cooling fan (dust/heat hazard).
The short answer is NO, not all businesses but all employers. If you or your business employs anyone, in order to ensure that the equipment in your workplace is safe and without risk to health, your minimum legal requirement is to comply with the requirements of the applicable Australian Standard, which is AS/NZS 3760:2010. This standard is not called for by law, but as an Australian Standard it is the legal minimum requirement. All States and Territories in Australia require compliance to AS/NZS 3760:2010.
This is a bit of a “How long is a piece of string” question. Most items only take a couple of minutes to inspect, test and tag (e.g. power cords, extension cords, hand tools), but more complex items like computers will take longer (a standard desktop PC has the power cable, the PC itself, the screen and its power cord). Also, some items may require multiple tests (e.g. a power board with an RCD, which has to have every socket tested and the RCD tested). Irrespective of the type of equipment under test, the biggest impact on time is often access. If the equipment is made readily available to the Tester the process will be quick. If leads are tangled and hidden behind other items, or woven in and around other objects the process can be slowed down considerably. Jez Test and Tag uses state-of-the-art PAT Testers and tag printers, and has documented procedures to ensure the process is carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Most tests require that the electrical equipment or appliance be plugged into the PAT Tester to perform the test, so it will have to be turned off and unplugged from its power source. This should only take a couple of minutes, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for your staff to keep productive with something else while the test is performed. Jez Test and Tag will always work with the client to ensure minimal disruption to your workplace. This may mean testing certain items during staff breaks, or arranging to perform the testing outside of your normal working hours.
The standard requires that, if you are an employer, all LOW VOLTAGE single or poly phase electrical equipment that is connected to the electrical supply by a flexible cord or connecting device, whether portable or non-portable, must be tested no matter where it is in the workplace. This includes customer waiting areas, staff kitchens, equipment in vehicles, and anywhere else you can think of; irrespective of how hostile the environment is assessed to be. The only difference may be that some areas of your business are assessed as less hostile than others, so the frequency of testing of electrical equipment and appliances in different areas may vary.
Yes, section 1 of the standard outlines what equipment and appliances are required to be tested, and when and what is exempt from the requirements of the standard. For more detailed information go to “The Standard“.
There are a couple of specific requirements around equipment offered for hire. Any equipment that is offered for hire must have been tested and tagged within three months of being hired. Once it is hired it is the responsibility of the Hiree to ensure it is tested and tagged in accordance with the requirements of AS/NZS 3760:2010. The frequency of testing of equipment offered for hire must always be as per the requirements of Table 4 of the standard. The standard does not allow the test frequency of hire equipment to be modified after conducting a documented risk assessment in accordance with AS/NZS ISO 31000. Reference: AS/NZS 3760:2010, section 1.2.4
The standard requires that only a “Competent Person” can carry out inspection and testing activities. A competent person is one who the responsible person ensures has the necessary practical and theoretical skills, acquired through training, qualification, experience or a combination of these, to correctly undertake the required tasks. NOTE – A competent person is not required to be a registered or licensed electrical practitioner in Victoria. Requirements for registration vary between jurisdictions. A guideline outlining the knowledge of electrical principles a competent person must possess is provided in Appenix B of AS/NZS 3760:2010. Reference: AS/NZS 3760:2010, section 1.4.4
When equipment is new, the supplier is responsible for its initial electrical safety. New equipment does not legally require testing but must be visually inspected by a competent person for obvious damage. When deemed compliant it must be tagged, and the tag must contain specific information. Reference: AS/NZS 3760:2010, section 1.2.1 and 184.108.40.206(c) Thereafter, the equipment must be tested and tagged as per the requirements of Table 4 of the standard. Jez Test and Tag offers an inspection and tagging service for new equipment. We can also provide “New To Service” tags if your business has a competent person to perform in-house visual inspections.
If sourced from a second-hand sale, electrical equipment must be inspected and tested before being placed in service to ensure the equipment is safe. NOTE: AS/NZS 5761 “In-Service Safety Inspection and Testing – Second-Hand Electrical Equipment Prior to Sale” shall apply. Electrical equipment must be inspected and tested on return to service after repair or servicing that could have affected the electrical safety of the equipment. NOTE: AS/NZS 5762 “In-Service Safety Inspection and Testing – Repaired Electrical Equipment” may apply. Reference: AS/NZS 3760:2010, section 2.1 Jez Test And Tag offers discounted rates for not-for-profit charitable organisations selling second-hand equipment through retail outlets.
For everywhere other than the Construction, Demolition and Mining industries there is no requirement that specific coloured tags are used. In these industries AS/NZS 3012 requires that testing and tagging to be done quarterly, with each quarter being represented by a different colour. The colours for each quarter as specified by AS/NZS 3012 are: – RED December – February GREEN March – May BLUE June – August YELLOW September – November Even though coloured tags are not a requirement for other industries, it can be a good practice to use alternating colours between test periods because it will provide you with a simple visual clue as to which items have been retested and which are still to be done.
When in-service inspection or testing identifies equipment which fails to comply with the criteria given in the Standard, the equipment must be withdrawn from service, and appropriately labelled to indicate that the equipment requires remedial action and warn against further use. The choice of remedial action, disposal or other corrective action shall be determined by the owner or the person responsible for the safety of the site where the equipment is used. Reference: AS/NZS 3760:2010, section 2.4.1 Jez Test and Tag will always report any faulty equipment to the Responsible Person, prior to any action being taken!
Where records of test and inspection are kept by an employer, the following should be recorded: A register of all equipment; A record of formal inspection and tests; A ‘repair’ register; A record of all faulty equipment showing details of services or corrective actions.
The terms “Class I” and “Class II” equipment refers to the two classes of equipment to which AS/NZS 3760 applies. Class I equipment has single insulation with a protective earthing conductor. Generally, for Class I equipment the plug will have an Earth pin. Class II equipment has double insulation with NO protective earthing conductor. Generally, for Class II equipment the plug will NOT have an Earth pin. Class II equipment is required to be marked with the words “Double Insulated” or this symbol. NOTE: Sometimes Class II appliances may still have an earth pin for purposes other than safety such as functional earth.
TESTING & TAGGING EXTRA INFO
“PAT” is an acronym that stands for Portable Appliance Testing, and a “PAT Tester” is Portable Appliance Testing Tester; i.e. the device that is used to perform a PAT. Portable appliance testing is a process by which electrical appliances are routinely checked for safety. The formal term for the process is “in-service inspection & testing of electrical equipment”. In Australia and New Zealand the standard that covers the requirements of this process is “AS/NZS 3760:2010 In-Service Safety Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment”. Testing involves a visual inspection of the equipment and any flexible cables for good condition and absence of damage, and where required verification of grounding (earthing) continuity, and a test of the soundness of insulation between the current carrying parts, and any exposed metal that may be touched. PAT Testers are specifically designed to carry out the abovementioned tests in a way that complies with the requirements of the applicable standard.
A Portable Appliance Tester does 2 basic tests. One is the Earth Continuity Test and the other is the Insulation Resistance test. Earth Continuity Tests check that the Earth Bonding is sound and can protect the user in case of a fault. Insulation Resistance tests check the quality of the insulation protecting the user. When this test is conducted the voltage used for testing should be 500V in order to bring out any faults. Most Multimeters, while perfectly capable of testing resistance, do so with a low voltage, which is too low to properly stress the insulation and highlight any faults. PAT Testers are designed to satisfy the requirements of AS/NZS 3760:2010, whereas Multimeters are not!
To meet the requirements of AS/NZS 3760:2010 you need to test all low voltage equipment that is either in-service at a place of work OR public place, OR is offered for hire. The standard DOES require safety inspection and testing of the following equipment: – Residual Current Devices (RCDs) except for those covered by AS/NZS 3003 and NZS 6115 (these standards relate to hospitals and medical facilities). Portable inverters that generate LOW VOLTAGE Portable equipment, hand-held equipment and stationary equipment connected to a low voltage power supply by a supply cord with an appliance inlet or pins for insertion into a socket outlet. Cord sets, cord extension sets and outlet devices (commonly referred to as powerboards, also known as Electrical Portable Outlet Devices – EPODs). Flexible cords connected to fixed equipment in hostile environments. Portable power supplies that generate LOW VOLTAGE. Battery chargers, including those for commercial or industrial use. Portable and transportable heavy duty tools such as high pressure washers and concrete grinders. Reference: AS/NZS 3760:2010, section 1.1 The standard DOES NOT require safety inspection and testing of the following equipment: – Electrical equipment installed at a height greater than 2.5 metres where there is no reasonable chance of a person touching the equipment and coming into contact with earth, or any conducting medium through which a circuit may be completed to earth, at the same time. Any equipment that would require dismantling to test RCDs covered by AS/NZS 3003 and NZS 6115, which relates to hospitals and medical facilities Fixed or stationary equipment (except RCDs) connected to wiring that forms part of an electrical installation and falls within the scope of AS/NZS 3000 Medical equipment or equipment connected to medical electrical equipment in a medical electrical system as defined in AS/NZS 3551. Requirements for testing of such equipment are contained in AS/NZS 3551. Portable generators within the scope of AS/NZS 3010 or AS 2790 Demonstration stock in retail or wholesale outlets. Reference: AS/NZS 3760:2010, sections 1.1.2 – 1.1.9
You would be surprised at the range of electrical appliances Staff bring into the workplace; mobile phone and tablet chargers, sandwich makers, food processors, clocks, fans, and more! Regulations and standards in Australia around safety testing of electrical equipment do not differentiate between privately owned and business owned items in the workplace. As far as they are concerned the Employer is responsible for taking all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of ALL equipment in the workplace. Therefore, if Staff have brought personal electronic items (that are required by the standard to be tested) into the workplace, they MUST make them available for testing, and the Employer must have them tested.
The tests that AS/NZS 3760:2010 requires on appliances covered by the standard are: – Visual Inspection Polarity Check (for cord sets and extension cord sets) Earth Continuity Insulation Resistance Earth Current Leakage/Touch Current Leakage (as applicable) Experience has shown that 90% of defects are detectable by visual inspection. Therefore, equipment must be visually inspected, and physically checked prior to performing any of the Polarity, Earth, or Insulation test. Equipment that is supplied by cord set must have both the cord set and the equipment tested and tagged separately. Your equipment must be subject to regular testing and inspection to detect obvious damage, wear or other conditions than may render it unsafe. Testers cannot dismantle equipment to perform inspection or testing, nor test it to destruction. Testers perform TESTING ONLY – no Repairs or Modifications! The testing is NOT intended to demonstrate that equipment complies with the safety standard applicable to that equipment. Only to check that it is safe to use as defined in AS/NZS 3760:2010. If equipment fails a test and is to be disposed of, it must be done in a manner that does not allow someone to take it and attempt to reuse it.
The frequency of re-testing of electrical equipment and flexible cord sets is determined by the equipment type and the environment in which the equipment is being used. Re-test frequency is based on the level of hazard and the degree of abuse to which equipment is typically exposed. Electrical equipment must be inspected and tested at intervals shown in Table 4, Section2 of AS/NZS 3760:2010 (subject to a tolerance of two weeks), or as varied by a responsible person after performing a risk assessment as per the requirements of AS/NZS ISO 31000 “Risk Management – Principles and Guidelines”.
ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT INFO
An RCD, or residual-current circuit breaker (RCCB), is a type of AC electrical switch that instantly breaks an electric circuit to prevent serious harm from an ongoing electric shock. An RCD is often referred to as a “Safety Switch” because it is designed to disconnect the power if a person makes contact with a live part of a circuit and earth at the same time. The purpose of RCDs is to protect people, not wiring and appliances. FACT: Currents as low as four thousandths of an ampere (0.004A) can cause pain. Currents over twenty thousandths of an ampere (0.02A) cause muscles to contract; i.e. you can’t let go of the appliance you are holding! In Australia residual current devices have been mandatory on power circuits since 1991 and on light circuits since 2000. Australian regulations require that RCD’s activate within 30 one thousandths of a second.
A Portable Residual Current Device (PRCD) is functionally equivalent to a standard RCD except, as the name suggests, it is not fixed in place and permanently connected to the circuit it is protecting, but can be moved around and used to protect different circuits. Usually a PRCD looks a lot like a powerboard, but with a test button and trip switch attached. It is recommended that you always use a PRCD whenever you are using power tools outside. Best practice would be to replace all your powerboards with PRCDs, but cost often prohibits this occurring as they are substantially more expensive than standard powerboards.
Yes! AS/NZS 3760:2010 requires both fixed and portable RCDs be regularly tested. RCDs which are permanently wired to terminals in equipment (fixed) must be tested using the RCD test button only, observing the operating time which should be ‘without undue delay’. There are three tests that can be carried out on portable RCDs. Trip Test – Test for correct operation (both current level and time) No Trip Test – Tests against nuisance tripping Fast Trip Test – Tests for current/time to lessen electric shock hazard. Note: For both Fixed and Portable RCDs the “Trip Test” is the only test required by AS/NZS 3760:2010. Reference: AS/NZS 3760:2010, section 220.127.116.11
The technical differences between RCDs and Circuit Breakers or Surge Protectors are too complex to discuss here. Have a look at our article in “News, Views & Tips” for more information. However, there is one very important difference that you should be aware of: – The purpose of circuit breakers and surge protectors (including household fuses) is to protect wiring and appliances, not people. While the purpose of RCDs is to protect people, not wiring and appliances.
A circuit breaker is designed to protect the wiring of a circuit and whatever appliances or equipment that are connected to it. Circuit Breakers work in one of two ways, with an electromagnet strip (or solenoid), or a bi-metal strip. In either case, the basic design is the same: when turned on, the breaker allows electrical current to pass from a lower to an upper terminal across the solenoid or strip. When the current reaches unsafe levels, the magnetic force of the solenoid becomes so strong that a metal lever within the switch mechanism is thrown or the bi-metal strip becomes sufficiently high to bend, and the current is broken. Have a look at our article in “News, Views & Tips” for more information.
To satisfy AS/NZS 3760:2010 microwave ovens are required to be visually inspected and have the standard earthing and insulation tests conducted. However, there is another hazard associated with microwave ovens that needs to be checked before Jez Test and Tag is happy to declare the equipment safe – MICROWAVE LEAKAGE! Microwave radiation can be very harmful to humans, and it would be negligent of us not to confirm that it is at safe levels before declaring a microwave oven as “safe”. The standard that covers testing for microwave radiation leakage is “AS/NZS 60335.2.25:2011 Household and Similar Electrical Appliances – Safety Particular Requirements for Microwave Ovens including Combination Microwave Ovens”. Jez Test and Tag always performs the tests required by both standards before tagging microwave ovens as safe.
Jez Test and Tag doesn’t only provide services in Geelong and surrounds, but also the Surf Coast through to Lorne, the Victorian Western District including Colac and Ballarat, and the Western suburbs of Melbourne.