Ensuring the safety of electrical appliances in your workplace is importance. To achieve this, testing and tagging services play a vital role in ensuring these devices are secure and safe for both staff and visitors to use. However, it’s easy to fall into some common misconceptions that could compromise electrical safety. We will debunk 11 widely held misconceptions about testing and tagging, enabling you to avoid these mistakes and prioritise the safety of your workplace.
One of the most widespread misconceptions is that electrical appliances need to be tested only once. In reality, portable appliances must undergo regular testing. For most businesses, the testing frequency is once every 12 months. Nevertheless, some industries, such as construction and mining, have stricter mandates, requiring more frequent testing.
Not every portable appliance requires testing and tagging. Only those that meet the criteria set out in the Australian/New Zealand safety standard AS/NZS 3760 need to be tested. It’s essential to understand these criteria and identify which appliances fall under the testing requirements.
A common misunderstanding is that only appliances used directly in the business need to be tested. In reality, all portable appliances that meet the safety standard’s criteria must be tested, regardless of whether they are used directly for business purposes or not. This means that even appliances in staff kitchens or recreational areas should undergo testing.
Relying solely on the presence of a testing and tagging tag can be dangerous. The tag indicates that the appliance has been tested and tagged in the past. It is crucial to check the tag’s current status, including the test date and next due date. If the tag is expired, the appliance should be re-tested before use. If the tag indicates a failed test, the appliance should not be used until it has been repaired and re-tested. Testel offers an automated reminder service through our proprietary data management tool, TES, which will promptly notify you about the upcoming due date for your next test.
This misconception revolves around the assumption that new appliances don’t need testing and tagging because the responsibility for electrical safety lies with the manufacturer. While this is true for genuinely new appliances, if an appliance is second-hand or used, even if it is new to your workplace, it must be tested. The history of such appliances is unknown, and testing ensures electrical safety.
Another misconception is that testing and tagging apply only to appliances owned by the business. However, if an appliance is used on the business premises, it should technically be tested and tagged, irrespective of ownership. For instance, if a family member of an aged care home resident brings in a personal appliance, such as a kettle, it must be tested before use.
Appliances stored away and used infrequently, such as seasonal appliances like fans and heaters, are just as important to test as regularly used ones. Visible signs of damage or aging are not sufficient indicators of an appliance’s safety. Testing ensures that even rarely used devices remain safe for operation.
Some businesses mistakenly believe that testing and tagging are only mandatory for specific industries, such as construction and mining. In reality, every business owner is responsible for their workplace’s safety, and testing and tagging apply to all businesses. Electrical safety should never be compromised, regardless of the industry.
While engaging a test and tag provider is essential, the ultimate responsibility for safety lies with the business owner. Therefore, choosing a reliable and qualified supplier becomes crucial. Proper research and inquiries should be made to ensure the service provider is competent and capable of delivering quality testing and tagging services.
While technically a qualified and trained employee can test and tag appliances, it might not be the most efficient use of their time and expertise. Engaging experts like Testel, whose primary focus is managing electrical safety for businesses, can be a more viable option. Qualified test and tag technicians have specific requirements they must meet before being considered competent for the job.
When seeking testing and tagging services, it’s important to avoid assuming that all suppliers are equal. The market might be flooded with numerous providers, but their expertise and reliability can vary significantly. Choose wisely and opt for a reputable and experienced company like Testel, whose qualified and insured technicians guarantee the job is done right, minimising future expenses and ensuring your workplace safety.
These 11 common misconceptions about testing and tagging will equip you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions and prioritise electrical safety in your workplace. Regular testing and tagging of portable appliances, along with selecting the right service provider, are crucial steps toward maintaining a safe working environment for everyone. Remember, electrical safety is not something to be taken lightly; it’s an investment in the well-being of your staff and the reputation of your business.
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