Electrical appliances are highly vulnerable to damage and can cause irreplaceable lose. In this regard test and tag system is used to ensure the performance and safety of electrical appliances. Test and tag is a process used to analyze the state of portable electrical appliances in order to minimize the risk of accident and loss because of unsafe condition of respective appliance.
Protocols of test and tag system:
There are two main parts of this procedure, first is testing which include visual as well as electrical testing of the product. Second is tagging, for this a special tag is assigned for respective product describing the current state and date, next due date of test, and name of tester etc. Specific gadget and standards are used for test and tagging system.
Equipment for testing and tagging:
The appliance is tested in two ways i.e. visual testing and using electrical tester. There are specific gadget or tester used for testing the electrical appliances. Commonly used tester is PAT (portable appliance tester). Competent person who is trained for testing and tagging are allowed to use this device in order to check the safety state of any electrical appliance. The result of test conducted on appliance can be taken in the form of Pass or Fail status based on appliance condition regarding safety and efficacy.
PAT device are available in different price range (500$-3000$) which make them variant based on functionality, efficacy, and other built in features. Buyers can manage to get a good PAT device according to their budget and need by listing down the reviews and recommendations of previous buyers.
Standards of test and tag:
Australia electrical safety regulation provide standards for test and tag system. Different standards are proposed based on the environment and site of electrical appliances i.e. for demolition and construction site the proposed standard is AS/NZS 3012 and for others AS/NZS 3760-2010 are the standards. These standards include regulations, recommendations, record retaining, code of conduct and other guidelines for test and tag procedure.
Eligibility criteria and training for test and tag services:
Australia electrical safety standards (AS/NZS 3760-2010) include regulations about eligibility of a person who is conducting test and tag. There is no need of professional of an electrician to peruse the testing and tagging procedure but it demands a competent person who have undertaken and qualified the ‘test and tag course’. According to standards the course should be taken through any legit and registered training organization and course should be compiled of national recognized standards of test and tag system. In this way a common person who does not possess previous knowledge or electrical background can lean and acquire competency to conduct test and tag in Australia.
The course must be comprises of required skillset and knowledge, and use of special gadgets proposed by up-to-date electrical safety standards. A lifetime test and tag license or certificate is given to the qualified candidates so that they can conduct the test and tag for different sites accordingly with efficacy.
There are two types of courses candidates can undertake:
- Short course: this course characterized as non-accredited which is comprises of limited necessities offered by AS/NZS 3760-2010 standards. It have some limitations like no online constituents but include physical training over one day which enable candidate to undertake test and tag services anywhere in Australia. It cost $329+GST and certificate of attendance will be issued after the qualification.
- Nationally recognized course: this course have highest qualification value in Australia, comprises of all skillset, online components (OHS) and other requirements for candidates. This course has been undertaken by many small, medium or large scale electrical corporations and businesses as well by individuals to pursue and conduct electrical testing and tagging systems. The basic requirements and information is given below:
|Qualification Documents:||ID card with certificate number and statement of attainment.|
|Cost||$498 (no GST)|
|Level of Qualification||Highest (approved by ASQA)|
|Duration of training||1 day (face-to-face training)|
|Previous know-how||No requirement of electrical background or knowledge previously|
There are two units of competency given to the candidates after the training in this course.
1. UEENEEP026A: It allows the candidate to carry on in-service testing and tagging of electrical equipment affiliated with cords and cord assemblies.
2. UEENEE101A: It includes health and safety regulation and allows testing and tagging in workplace.
Desirable appliances for testing and tagging:
All electrical appliances that possess cable, detachable plug, appliances having voltage not more than 50V but not low either such as wire extensions, cord sets, leads, and RCD. Kitchen and home-based electronics as well as appliances used in factories and offices fall under the criteria of testing and tagging.
Newly manufactured electrical equipment do not require proper testing but visual testing can be done and proceed to tagging. There are two main classes of electrical appliances that need test and tagging time to time. Class-I include earthed electrical devices (e.g. kettles, tasters, irons) and class-II appliances having double insulation (e.g. hair dryers, electric drills).
Required frequencies and colors of testing and tagging:
AS/NZS 3760-2010 standard proposed the testing and tagging frequency for electrical appliances based on their usage and environment in which they are carried on. Every industry, workplace, or company have different test and tag frequencies and colors for their appliances as their requirements and personal preferences. Acceptable time intervals according to national standards are given below:
Test and tag colors are chosen according to environment and Australian standards. There are two main scenarios which allow the tester to choose the colors.
1. Construction and demolition sites:
AS/NZS 3012 standardized different tag colors depending on the month of tagging for appliances used in such sites. Standards recommend that testing and tagging should be repeated right after change in color is noticeable.
2. Personal choice:
There is no specific obligation of colors for other workplaces and environments. An individual can choose colors of their own choice but re-testing and rotation of colors should be under consideration.