Testing & Tagging Electrical Appliances: What you need to know

Construction, agricultural, horticultural, or manufacturing, no matter what industry you’re in electrical equipment will be present. To ensure your electrical equipment is safe and in good condition you should do daily inspections before use and have your equipment tested and tagged.

What is testing and tagging?

Testing and tagging is checking the safety of portable electrical appliances that get used in the workplace.

It involves two steps: Visually inspecting the appliance for any noticeable damage,

  • cracked casings
  • missing or damaged guards
  • nicked cables; tape covering nicks or cuts
  • dry and brittle insulation
  • burn marks or signs of overheating
  • RCDs not tripping when tested

And secondly, electrically testing it with a Portable Appliance Tester (PAT). Once tested and approved, a tag is attached with the following information:

  • who tested it,
  • the test date, and
  • when the next test is due. 

Why do you need to test and tag?

Testing and tagging helps identify any faults or damage in the equipment that could potentially cause harm to individuals or the workplace. If tested appliances are found to be non-compliant or unsafe, they must be labeled accordingly and withdrawn from use immediately.

Who can complete a test and tag?

Anyone with the knowledge, skills, tools, and understanding of the standards involved can conduct testing and tagging. If the testing reveals any issues or something needs fixing then a registered electrical worker will be required.

What type of equipment needs to be tested and tagged?

In short, basically any electrical corded power tool or device. This includes any device or appliance that has a flexible cable, and a removable plug, and also includes both single and three-phase connections. This applies to new equipment before it is used, and also needs to be carried out on second-hand appliances intended for sale.

Keeping you and your workmates safe at work is a priority, so make sure you are aware of the businesses testing and tagging requirements in the workplace.

The HazardCo App site review resource has a list of electrical controls that should be in place to minimise the risk of electrical hazards.

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