Testing & Tagging Electrical Appliances: What you need to know

The harsh nature of the construction, agricultural, horticultural, and manufacturing industries means that equipment damage is expected. All electrical appliances should be inspected daily before use and tested and tagged every three months to ensure that they are safe for use. 

What is testing and tagging?

The process of 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 is just one of the processes used to ensure the safety of you and your workmates who come into contact with electrical appliances in the workplace, whilst also minimising the risk of an electrical hazard. 

If the appliance tested is found to be non-compliant, it must be labeled accordingly and withdrawn from use immediately.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, 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 employer’s requirements of testing and tagging in the workplace.

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


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