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FAQ's

In this section you will find some commonly asked questions about testing and tagging.  If your question is not answered here, please contact us with your question / enquiry and we will respond within 24 hrs.

Is testing and tagging compulsory in
New Zealand?

Yes it is.  The Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 states that a person who operates works, intallations, fittings or appliances must not use and must not allow any other person to use the works, installations, fittings or apliances if the works, installations, fittings or appliances are electrically unsafe (section 15) .  It also states in section 26 that fittings or appliances with a current tag issued in accordance with AS/NZS 3760 is deemed to be electrically safe.  

The government energy safety website also gives guidance around electrical testing and tagging to the AS/NZS 3760 standard under the operational safety sections.  They also have more detailed information on the test and tag regime page.

The New Zealand HSE Act does not prescribe electrical testing and tagging specifically but it does state that employers are responsible for ensuring a safe place of work (by taking all practiicable steps) and that all plant is maintained and safe to use.  It is worth noting that the HSE act is not prescriptive at all and it is up to employers to assess the risks in their workplace and implement controls for those risks.  Testing and tagging is a recognised best practice to managing electrical risks in the workplace.  Given that it is also referenced in the electrical safety regulations then it woul dbe hard to mount a defence for not doing the testing should an accident occur in the workplace as a result of faulty electrical equipment.

Electrical testing and tagging is also compulsory on construction sites, for hire equipment and for items that have been repaired.  Some other industry areas also have governing bodies who require testing and tagging as part of the OHSE program. 


What are the benefits of completing
electrical testing and tagging?

Testing and tagging electrical leads and appliances to the AS/NZS 3760 standard is a recognised effective control for electrical risks in the workplace.  The inspection, testing and tagging is a regular inspection and test to ensure leads and equipment are safe to use. 

Having a compliant program not only ensures employees and visitors are not exposed to electrical risks but also, if done correctly, provides you with a defence should something ever go wrong with electrical equipment in the workplace.  Workplace accidents can result in business owners and management being prosecuted under the HSE act so any activity that is undertaken to manage risks in the workplace would be considered as part of any prosecution. 

If you could demonstrate that leads and equipment had been regularly tested to the AS/NZS standard (and you have the required associated documentation to prove this is the case) then the likelihood of a prosecution would be greatly reduced.

Who can complete electrical testing
and tagging for me?

Electrical testing and tagging can be completed by any person who has completed the appropriate training and who has the required equipment.  Electricians often complete testing and tagging but it can also be completed by anyone who has undergone the necessary competency training.

How often should I get electrical items in
my workplace tested and tagged?

The AS/NZS 3760 standard outlines a range of different frequencies based on both the type of equipment and the environment that it is operated in.  The harsher the environment the more often the items should be tested due to the increased potential for damage to the lead or equipment. 

Often, businesses will have a number of different environments and as such, the test frequency will be different for different areas.  The testing frequency ranges from 3 monthly checks to 5 yearly.  Please feel free to contact us to discuss your situation / environment or to arrange for one of our technicians to visit you to review your business.

Do all electrical items need to be tested
and tagged?

No.  The AS/NZS 3760 standard defines which items need to be tested and tagged.  Items that are assessed as fixed in place, not portable or hard wired do not need to be regularly tested.  If there are items that fit into this area, it is a good idea to keep a documented assessment detailing what the item is and why it is not going to be tested for reference in future if required.

What is required for my testing program to
be compliant with the AS/NZS 3760 Standard?

The standard outlines what is required in terms of compliance.  Generally, a program needs to ensure the frequency of testing is adequate and based on the liklihood of damage to equipment in the environment it is being used in.  The standard outlines a range of frequecies for different types of equipment so it is possible to have items in a workplace that are on different test frequencies (e.g. the equipment used in the warehouse may be tested yearly but the office computers every five years).

The standard also defines what needs to be tested (portable items) and what does not (fixed items).  The following documentation is also required as per the quoted section of the standard:

2.5 Documentation Requirements:

2.5.1 Where records of test and inspection are kept, the following should be recorded:

(a) A register of all equipment

(b) A record of formal inspection and tests

(c) A repair register

(d) A record of all faulty equipment showing details of services or corrective actions

2.5.2 Where records are kept, they should be retained for seven years, or such period as required by the specific regulations

 

The standard also defines the following required actions resulting from inspection and testing:

2.4 Action Resulting from Inspection and Testing:

2.4.1 Non-compliant equipment

Where in-service inspection or testing identifies equipment which fails to comply with the criteria given in this standard, the equipment shall be appropriately labeled to indicate that the equipment requires remedial action and warn against further use, and withdrawn from service.  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.

2.4.2 Compliant equipment

Following testing, compliant equipment shall be fitted with a durable, non-reusable, non metallic tag or other indicator.  Special equipment shall not be required to identify the equipment. note - this shall not preclude tags from also bearing a code to facilitate electronic data collection

2.4.2.1 The tag, which may be colour coded to identify the period in which the test was performed, shall include:

(a) The name of the person or company who performed the tests

(b) The test or inspection date, a retest date and a reference to the AS/NZS 3760 standard

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