Retail Outlets – Testing and Tagging Requirements

retail-shops1All retail shops have a testing and tagging & Residual Current Device (RCD) Testing requirement for electrical equipment under AS/NZS 3760:2010. On this page you will find all the information that you need to know to position yourself to ensure that your site is compliant with the appropriate regulations.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us via 1300 038 847 number or the online enquiry form on this page, as we are here to help.

What are the Testing Intervals?

What Flexibility is Allowed with the Testing Intervals?

What Equipment Needs to be Tested?

Why Test & Tag?

How Do the Inspections Work?

How is Testing & Tagging carried out?

Does Brand New Equipment Need to Be Tested?

What legislation applies?

What Compliance Reporting is required?

What happens with damaged or non-complying equipment?

Making Your Compliance Reporting Easy For You

Who can carry out Inspection & Testing of electrical equipment?

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What are the Testing intervals

when-test-tag

In a Retail Outlet in Australia annual (12 monthly) & up to 5 yearly electrical Testing and Tagging is required to the AS/NZS 3760:2010 standard.

Please Contact Us for a copy of the “Indicative Testing & Inspection Interval Chart for electrical Equipment to AS/NZS 3760:2010 standards.

A Retail Outlet would be classified as having equipment that would be subject to ‘open to abuse’ or in a hostile environment (12 monthly testing), and equipment that is not open to abuse & not in an hostile environment’ (5 yearly testing).

If, for a example, it is a Bakery, it would have the front shop section as 12 monthly testing, and then the Manufacturing/ Baking area would be classified as 6 monthly testing required.

What Flexibility is Allowed with the Testing Intervals?

flexibility-testing-intervals

In order to remain compliant to the AS/NZS 3760:2010 standard, you will need to test to the required Testing & Interval requirements that your electrical equipment is classified under.

There is a tolerance of 2 weeks allowed from renewal date for you to still achieve compliance.

One of the most common problems that we see in your industry, is that everyone is busy and it’s very easy to miss these dates and not be compliant with the standards. We can help you by taking care of this responsibility for you. The ETTis team will send reminders of your Test & Tagging renewal coming due several weeks before the new tag due date, to ensure you are always compliant on-site.

What Equipment Needs to be Tested?

As a general rule all electrical equipment in your Retail Outlet needs to be tested on a 6 monthly, 12 monthly & up to 5 yearly intervals, dependant on the type of equipment & environment, and upon a risk assessment.

Listed below are examples of common equipment that we would test for you.

12 Monthly Testing Required Up to 5 Yearly Testing required (upon risk assessment)
Computer Hard drives Monitors & associated leads Computer Hard drives Monitors & associated leads
Laptops UPS
Surge Protector Powerboards Computer Servers & Telecommunication Hubs
Pedestal Fans Projector
Audio Equipment Extension Leads
Pedestal Fans Shredder
Radio Laminators
Phone Chargers Audio Equipment
Staff Kitchen Equipment Printer
Toaster Photocopier
Coffee Machines
Water Cooler

Typical examples of equipment covered under AS/NZS 3760:2010 standard are:

  • Single & 3 phase portable plug in electrical equipment
  • Portable equipment, hand-held equipment and stationary equipment, designed for connection to the low voltage supply by a supply cord for insertion into a socket outlet.
  • Cord sets, cord extension sets and outlet devices (also known as electrical portable equipment)
  • Flexible cords connected to fixed equipment in hostile environments
  • Portable power supplies (includes) power adaptor pack, both of the safety isolating transformer and switch mode type
  • Battery chargers including those for commercial or industrial use
  • Portable & transportable heavy duty tools such as high pressure washers and concrete grinders

Electrical equipment installed at a height of 2.5m, or greater above the ground, do not need to be tested under the AS/NZS 3760:2010 standard, this is where there is not a reasonable chance of a person touching the electrical equipment

See definitions of different classes of electrical equipment and how they are tested.

Why Test & Tag?

It is your ‘general duty of care’, as an employer, to ensure your employees & visitors to your workplace are safe under Occupational Safety & Health Act 1984.

This includes maintaining safety for the use of electrical equipment, in an attempt to prevent hazards, such as, electric shock, and damage to property and people. A well-planned program of preventative maintenance, with regular electrical safety checks, is the ideal way to avoid unnecessary and unfortunate accidents, as well as legal ramifications that follow.

For all other workplaces other than construction, demolition or mining, portable electrical equipment and RCD’s are not required to be tagged, however, there must be evidence that a maintenance program, is in place –

“Do you have one”? ETTiS provides an Appliance Asset Register which includes all the electrical equipment that has been Tested & Tagged, and you can provide this to Worksafe if requested as proof that you have an electrical maintenance program in place.

Do you have the time, and does your staff have the spare time, to ensure you are safe and always compliant?

Do you have the competency to do this? As the responsible person of a workplace it is your responsibility, to ensure the safety of the working environment, and you may not necessarily know all the requirements demanded and by legislation and good practice.

If the answer is ‘no’ then leave it to the experts – ETTiS, as we have all the systems and procedures to make the process easy for you to get compliant and stay compliant.

How Do the Inspections Work?

how-inspection-works

All workplaces require a risk management approach to determine the type of inspection and if necessary any testing required by a competent person.

Inspection needs to be done more frequently in an operating environment where electrical equipment is, during normal usage, subject to adverse operating conditions likely to result in damage to the electrical equipment (eg potential exposure to moisture, heat, vibration, corrosive chemicals or mechanical damage.) The risk assessment should determine where more specific testing or electrical equipment is necessary and the frequency of such testing.

Inspecting & Testing electrical equipment will assist in determining whether it is electrically safe and this may involve, in the part below:

  • Looking for obvious damage, defects or modifications to the electrical equipment, including accessories, connectors, plugs or cord extension kits
  • Looking for discolouration that may indicate exposure to excessive heat, chemicals or moisture
  • Checking the integrity of protective earth & insulation
  • Checking that flexible cords are effectively anchored to equipment, plugs connectors & cord extension sockets
  • Looking for damage to flexible cords
  • Checking that operating controls are in good working order
  • Checking that covers, guards etc are secured and working in the manner intended by the manufacturer
  • Checking that ventilation inlets & exhausts are unobstructed
  • Checking that the current rating of the plug matches the current rating of the associated electrical equipment
  • Double Adaptors & 3 pin plug adaptors (piggyback) should not be used, and we will remove them from service for the safety of your employees. The reason for this is that double adaptors do not have thermal overload cut-out devices as an integral part of the product.

How is Testing & Tagging carried out:

Disconnect electrical equipment: Remove & unplug electrical equipment from the source of supply.
Visual Test: The most important test is a visual inspection of the device.
Testing: Testing of the electrical equipment is carried out with the use of a “PAT” Portable Appliance Tester. This performs many tests dependant on type of equipment being tested, to test for any unforeseen electrical faults. These tests include: an insulation resistance test, earth continuity, earth routine or earth bond test, a polarity test and an earth leakage test
Tagging: A Pass or Fail tag will be placed on the electrical equipment verifying its safe approval and will include the below:

  • The name of the tester & the license no. of an electrician, or certificate no. of the competent person carrying out
  • The name of the test company
  • The date tested & required retest date
  • ID number of appliance that corresponds with the Appliance Asset register supplied
How long will it take: It will take approximately 5 minutes to Test & Tag electrical equipment and the equipment will be turned off for this time. Please advise your staff that equipment will be turned off during the testing process, and our experienced technicians will endeavour to minimize any disruptions to your staff
What reporting will you provide after testing is completed: We will supply your Electrical Appliance Register for Test & Tag results by email in a PDF format. Records will be kept for 7 years as required by the standard.

Does Brand New Equipment Need to Be Tested?

brand-new-equipment

Brand New Equipment – that has never been put into use (ie other than 2nd hand equipment) does not have to be tested before first use.

Brand new equipment, however, should still be visually inspected, to ensure that no damage occurred during transport, delivery or installation

If the equipment is required to be tested regularly for safety, take steps to make sure it doesn’t miss the first service. ETTiS will supply you with a register to keep a list of all new equipment, so it isn’t missed at the next service.

The date the electrical equipment was placed into service should be recorded and the electrical equipment fitted with a tag stating:

  • That the new equipment is new to service, The date of entry to service, The date when the first electrical safety test is due, the equipment has not been tested
  • Fitting a new to service tag is an administrative task that can be carried out by an appropriately trained in-house person
  • Alternatively a different system may be put into place to ensure the electrical equipment is properly Inspected & Tested as required (eg new equipment can be included in next round of electrical testing at workplace)

What legislation applies?

OHS-regulation-legislation

Is Testing & Tagging mandatory? AS/NZS 3760:2010 Inservice inspection and testing of electrical equipment, as a stand alone document, is not mandated. Australian New Zealand Standards are documents written to offer guidance. Unless they are called up in legislation in writing, then the particular standard concerned is not directly mandatory.

All workplaces are required to maintain a safe working environment. It is your ‘general duty of care’, as an employer, to ensure your employees & visitors to your workplace are safe under Occupational Safety & Health Act 1984.

Regulation 4.37 of the OSH regulation deals with the duties as to the use of any electrical equipment, or RCD at a workplace other than construction, demolition sites and mining operations. Under this regulation, an employer, self employed person, main contractor, person having control of the workplace or person having access to a workplace must ensure that the electrical equipment and RCD’s at the workplace are subject to the appropriate checks tests and inspections necessary to reduce the risk of injury, or harm to a person at that workplace.

For all other workplaces other than construction, demolition sites and mining operations, portable equipment is not required to be tagged, however, there should be evidence that a maintenance program is in place. High risk areas such as places of manufacture, workshops & factorys would be classified as open to abuse or hostile environment under the AS/NZS 3760:2010 standards and require a risk management approach to determine the type of inspection and, if necessary, any testing required by a competent person.

What Compliance Reporting is required?

compliance-reporting

For manufacturing & workshop sites, the following documentation must be kept for all electrical equipment & RCDs:

  • Register of all equipment
  • Record of formal inspection & tests
  • Repair register
  • Record of all faulty equipment showing details of services & corrective action
  • The Appliance Asset Register record will include:
  • Testers name who carried out the test
  • Date testing carried out & re-test date
  • Result from testing – Pass/Fail
  • License no. of the electrician, or certificate no. of the competent person carrying out the testing
  • Asset ID No. of the items tested

2.5.2 of AS/NZS 3760:2010 states where records are kept, they should be retained for 7 years, or such a period as required by the regulator. It is acceptable for the purpose of this standard, to keep these records in electronic format, if this is the required method.

2.5.3 of AS/NZS 3760:2010 where a risk assessment has been performed in accordance with 2.1.1, all documentation shall be retained for 7 years or such a period as may be required by the relevant regulator.

ETTis have sophisticated on-line compliance tracking software. We can make this job easy for you by storing all these records in one safe, secure, easy to reach digital location for when you need them. Contact Us today to see how we can help with streamlining your compliance requirements.

What happens with damaged or non-complying equipment?

Non-compliant equipment

People who Inspect & Test portable equipment and RCD’s have a responsibility to:

  • Identify any defects affecting safety
  • Record and label faulty equipment

Where testing identifies equipment that is damaged or non-complying, it must be removed from service immediately.

  • When electrical equipment or an RCD at a workplace has been damaged, such that the risk of injury or harm to a person is increased, the employer, main contractor, self employed person or person having control of the workplace must ensure that the item is:
  • Immediately tagged ‘out of service’ against further use and
  • A competent person assess the item or
  • the item is discarded

The competent person should assess the extent of the damage, advise the nature of the damage and whether it can be repaired. The choice of the 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.

For electrical equipment, including cords and plugs, connected to a supply of electricity of up to 240v, the competent person may undertake like for like replacement of components.

However, any other or further repairs should only be performed by a licensed electrician, the equipment manufacturer or an authorized repairer. This is the benefit of using ETTiS as they can then carry out all repairs whilst on-site.

After repair has been completed, the electrical equipment must be inspected and tested by the competent person before returning to service.

Compliant equipment

Shall be fitted with a durable, non-reusable, non-metalic tag and may be colour coded to identify the period in which the test has been performed, and must include the below information:

  • The name of the tester & the license no. Of an electrician, or certificate no. of the competent person carrying out
  • The name of the test company
  • The date tested & required retest date
  • Reference to AS/NZS3760
  • ID number of appliance that corresponds with the Appliance Asset register supplied

Making Your Compliance Reporting Easy For You

  • If you have to update, maintain and store all these records yourself it can be quite a responsibility, and yet another task that you need to do on top of your already busy schedule.
  • The team here at ETTis have this record process very systemized, streamlined and efficient. All records are stored securely digitally. We can store your records for you to make the whole process more efficient for you. Contact Us today to discuss your sites requirements.

Who can carry out Inspection & Testing of electrical equipment?

Inspection & Testing of electrical equipment must be carried out by a competent person who has acquired training, qualifications or experience

  • A person carrying out testing under AS/NZS 3760:2010 must be:
  • A licensed or registered electrician
  • A person who has successfully completed a structured training course and deemed competent in the use of a pass/fail type portable appliance tester and visual inspection of electrical equipment
  • Some kinds of electrical testing must only be carried out by a licensed electrician or electrical inspector under local electrical safety laws.

Your Next Steps:

So that we can best assist you and your business with your compliance needs, please contact us on 1300 038 847 or 0417 188 505 and ask to speak to Tracy. Tracy Cox has extensive experience in the industry, and is a great resource for determining your electrical safety requirements, to ensure that your business is compliant in your industry. We can provide you with a copy of the relevant testing standard for your industry and equipment.