Q. Why do I have to test my electrical equipment?
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
- use of residual current devices (RCDs)
- and, testing of identified electrical equipment.
Q. What happens if an item fails the test?
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 These items are withdrawn from use and depending on the fault further testing or repairs can be completed to fix the fault.
Q. What is a Portable Appliance Tester (PAT) ?
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.
Q. Does the equipment need to be turned off for the inspection?
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.
Q. What is a RCD?
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.
Q. How long does it take to test my equipment?
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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