Test and tag electrical equipment.

Posted on 8th August 2016 by Kristine Dawson
test and tag

The requirements for inspecting and testing differ depending on the type of work that is carried out with the electrical equipment. In this article, I will discuss the suggested intervals for testing and tagging as well as answering some commonly asked questions about test and tag. 

Why do I need to test and tag my equipment?

Ensuring your electrical equipment and appliances are safe can save your life. A faulty electrical appliance can cause electrocution, electrical shock or possible fire. Most house and office fires are caused by electrical faults. Aside from the safety aspect, it is a legislative requirement to have equipment tested in most workplaces. In Queensland, the legislation is driven by the QLD Electrical Safety Act 2002 and the QLD Electrical Safety Regulations 2013. The Queensland requirements do differ compared to other states. 

How often do I need to test and tag my equipment?

The below table can be used as a guide to how often specified electrical equipment should be tested. More detailed information can be found at https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/E/ElectricalSR13.pdf

Class of work Interval to test portable electrical equipment
Construction work At least every 3 months
Manufacturing work

If equipment is double insulated, at least every 12 months

If equipment is not double insulated, at least every 6 months

Service work At least every 12 months
Office work At least 5 yearly
Amusement work

If equipment is double insulated, at least every 12 months

If equipment is not double insulated, at least every 6 months

What is involved in testing tagging?

A qualified electrician will come to your workplace at a  time that is convenient for you.  Each appliance is disconnected from the power and then visually inspected. This includes examining the plug, the flexible cord and the cord strain reliefs. Depending on the type of appliance, we then use electrical testing instruments to test for invisible flaws such as broken earth connection or flawed insulation. 

Once the appliance passes the tests a record is made in the Appliance Test Log database and a compliance tag bearing information about the date of testing is affixed to the cord. 

After the completion of testing at your workplace, we will issue you with a copy of the Appliance Test Log for your OHS Risk Management records. 

How Long Does it Take to Test and Tag an Appliance?

The time taken to test each device is varied, however as a rough guide we find that 15 appliances can be properly tested by one technician in one hour. 

How Often is an Appliance faulty?

About 2% of all items tested are faulty. Many of these faulty items have the potential to cause electrocution or electrical fire. We find that tidy office spaces usually have less faulty equipment than workshops or building sites. This is why the inspection periods vary. 

What happens when an appliance is found faulty?

A DANGER tag will be applied to the faulty appliance. Meaning the appliance has failed testing and must be either repaired or replaced before reintroduction to the workplace. They are highly dangerous and should not be used under any circumstances. 

What types of electrical appliances require testing?

Any appliance plugged into a power point.  For example, the following items require testing and tagging:-

  • Extension cords
  • Power leads
  • Printers
  • Photocopiers
  • Computers
  • Kitchen appliances such as kettles and toasters
  • Audio/visual equipment
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Power tools

If you are unsure if your appliance needs testing give us a call on 07 3324 1447

What about appliances at home?

Electrical Safety is just as important in the family home as it is in the workplace. You can help to keep your family safe from electrical shock or electrical fire by having your appliances checked. 

What now?

Send us an email or give us a call and we can come and inspect your workplace and set up a regular test and tag schedule to ensure your workplace is always covered.