Cables and switches wear and can become faulty.  Think of your mobile phone charging cable, how many of them have you worn out? The same thing happens to larger cables, but isn’t as noticeable as there is much thicker insulation & protection around these bulkier items. 

New items – depending on the production company, quality varies. this is due to production lines testing different quantities of the production run.  Companies that test less frequently than others, are likely to have greater variability this leaves room for quite some variability in the  

From time to time an item will fail and there is a responsibility from the technician to report the defective item and label it accordingly. These items are withdrawn from use and depending on the fault further testing or repairs can be completed to fix the fault. 

In some cases yes. This is generally replacement of the lead or plug. After repairs have been carried out a retest of the item is conducted to ensure compliancy.

Table 4 that can be found in Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 recommends various retest timeframes which is dependent on locations and or environments in which the equipment resides in

Testing of items varies from: three monthly, six monthly, yearly, two yearly or five yearly testing intervals

If the workplace has a workshop or manufacturing area or is considered a hostile environment testing is generally carried out on a 6 monthly or yearly basis. 

It's important your service provider has the expertise to competently advise the client about the retest time frames.

AS/NZS 3760:2010 - 2.1. (a) Indicates a tolerance of two weeks past the item's retest due date.

Portable appliance testing and tagging is electrical safety inspection and testing of 240v (single phase) or 415v (3 phase) of all plug-in electrical items. Under current WHS legislation and Australian Standards AS/NZS 3760:2010 states that all workplaces across Australia have a duty of care to employees & visitors and must be able to demonstrate safe work systems, including electrical safety. 

This applies to all portable or corded appliances that you may have in your workplace 

A PAT is an electronic testing instrument designed to perform a range of automatic tests on plug-in type electrical equipment as outlined in AS/NZS 3760:2010. 

Under current AS/NZS 3760:2010, to remain compliant you are required to retain the history of tests carried out in your workplace. Just because the item has a test tag attached to the lead, you must still have the relevant records indicating date of test, company or technician that carried out the testing  

This also includes a test tag attached to each item which indicates the date, tester's name and a test status (pass/fail).  

A register should also include all failed items and action taken.

If you are a business or employer, you must make sure that electrical equipment is regularly inspected and tested by a competent person. This can vary with different states requirements, but under the Aust Standards it must be one of the following 

competent person is either; 

  • Someone who has acquired - through training, qualification or experience - the knowledge and skills to carry out inspections and testing of electrical equipment.
  • A licensed electrician 

If you are an employer, you have a duty of care to ensure that employees and visitors to the workplace are safe from injury and risks to health. You must therefore manage any safety risks surrounding electrical hazards, in accordance with the requirements of the OHS and WHS Acts and regulations around Australia You must apply a systematic risk management approach to eliminate or control the risk of electrical hazards. After the risk assessment, you can then implement a range of control measures including:

  • routine visual checks
  • regular inspection
  • maintenance
  • repair
  • replacement
  • use of residual current devices (RCDs)
  • and, testing of identified electrical equipment. 

Yes they do, It is an electrical hazard for the equipment to be live when the testing is being conducted. This is to ensure the safety of our operators and customers. Once the assessment has been completed, the equipment can be turned back on. 

An RCD is a Residual Current Device, which is designed to prevent you from receiving a fatal electric shock, should you touch a live item such as an exposed cable or broken light switch. RCD’s offer a level of personal protection that a standard fuse or circuit breaker cannot. 

The time required to test and tag depends on the specific appliance being tested, however it should only take a few minutes at a time. A visual inspection of the appliance takes place first which in turn aids the technician to judge what electrical test needs to be performed. Some appliances have to go through several tests prior to being labelled as safe and acceptable.

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