When doing quotes for a potential clients or helping existing ones with a services review, I am often asked about the regulations for test and tagging in Victoria. Here is some of what I typically share – hopefully it is of value to you as well;
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic.) all workplaces, including not-for-profit organisations and organisations with a volunteer workforce, have a duty of care obligation to provide and maintain a safe workplace. Similar Acts and obligations existing in other states and territories.
As part of this obligation, portable electrical appliances ( including fixed and portable RCDs / safety switches ) used in any workplace, public place or offered for hire must be checked on a regular basis to ensure they are electrically safe. The standard AS/NZS 3760 sets out inspection and testing protocols that satisfies this obligation.
The standard AS/NZS 3760 is not to be confused with a piece of legislation or a regulation; on its own, or when read in conjunction with other standards, it doesn’t actually mandate you to do anything. That’s because standards are not pieces of legislation or Acts of Parliment etc. As a “standard” published by a reputable source, AS/NZS 3760 is recognised by most industries, workplace safety authorities and electrical regulators as a credible document. The Victorian WorkCover Authority recognises compliance with AS/NZS 3760 as being integral to fulfilling the duty of care.
Any persons performing test and tagging of electrical appliances must fulfill the criteria of a 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. Source: AS/NZS 3760 as defined in the Standard AS/NZS 3760 (2010). It is recommended a test and tag course be undertaken with a credible training provider.
There is no formal test tag license or registration process in Australia for test and tag technicians. Some States or Territories require persons performing testing and tagging to hold an electrical qualification or electrical license; this is not a requirement in Victoria. Some Industry Codes may require or recommend persons performing testing and tagging to be a 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. Source: AS/NZS 3760 and hold an electrical license.
The Standard provides some indicative retest intervals in “Table 4″ and includes a note;
“To allow the flexibility to devise a customized solution for particular circumstances, organizations with sufficient expertise and resource may substitute other periods than those indicated in Table 4, after conducting a documented risk assessment, undertaken in accordance with the process specified in AS/NZS ISO 31000, and taking into consideration any relevant legislative requirements or guidelines.”
Victorian construction and demolition sites generally operate under AS/NZS 3012 requiring a three monthly retest interval be applied and a specific colour coded tag system used. Some states may have different requirements for “builder’s tools and “trade tools”. For example, in NSW the requirement is for monthly retesting and a different colour coding system applies.
Cross border problems can arise for workers who travel interstate as the tags from their home State may not be recognised interstate. If you are planning to travel, it would be advisable to check this with the workplace safety office at your destination.
If you have a question or want to raise a point of interest, post your comment here or you can email me.
Edits 26/11/13, 22/11/16, 07/04/19
This information is general in nature, should be used as a guide only and read in conjunction with the relevant Standard(s), State and/or Federal Legislation, Codes of Practice and Industry Standards specific to your workplace. A proper risk assessment should be under taken before acting on the information provided in this document or any related material. Further information can also be obtained from your local Workplace Authority, Electrical Safety Authority or a suitably qualified persons. This article is copyright protected.