This page contains answers to common questions handled by our
technical staff, along with mandatory requirements and some explanations of
process that many have found useful and presented here as questions.
Note: These answers are provided for general information
only and do not constitute specific advice for your particular situation.
Please feel free to ask us about your specific situation or circumstances free
of obligation as a service to Community Safety.
- What is Test and Tag all about?
- Why Test and Tag?
- What happens if someone is electrocuted on my worksite?
- I have safety switches fitted. Isn't that enough?
- My friend says that I don't have to test and tag in my business. Is that
- What if my staff bring in their own equipment to use at work?
- Is it OK to remove a tag on a faulty appliance and use it?
- Is it true that tags only need to be attached to the flex?
- Does having a tagged appliance mean it is working 100% within manufacturer's specifications?
- What happens when a contractor or employee uses unsafe equipment and there is an
- Is it enough just to have current Test Tags affixed to equipment?
- Why did you destroy my appliance? - It's worked for three years and it no longer
works after testing .
- My boss hands out tags to put on our gear when the old ones expire. Is this OK?
- Can I use my electrician to Test and Tag?
- What about buying or selling second hand electrical items?
- What colour tags?
- Your question could be answered here!
It's all about in-service safety inspection and testing of electrical
equipment connected to the electrical supply by a flexible cord and/or
connecting device, a plug. The current requirements are specified in
Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZ 3760:2003. (Revised December 2003 - the
previous revision being in 2001.)
The Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1985 and revised in
2004 states in Section 21, in Part (2)(a) that "an employer shall create a
safe working environment without risk to health." Other states and
territories have their own legislated requirements.
As an employer in Victoria, you have an obligation to notify WorkSafe and
Energy Safe Victoria, formerly the Office of the Chief Electrical Inspector who will investigate and may
prosecute you and your company.
That’s great, but safety switches or RCD's (Residual Current Devices) cannot be utilized as a substitute for common sense
to compensate for potentially unsafe electrical appliances and tools. (How often
do you have your safety switches tested for activation and trip times?)
Will your friend be prepared to pay your personal fines of up to $198,216 for work safety violations?
Seek a second opinion; it's in your interest to do so.
Your staff are very good to you, but when they use their personal
electrical items on a worksite the items are still your responsibility.
So if they bring in their power tools, toaster or any other appliance into the
workplace and it is unsafe, then the use of that appliance can turn into a liability
for your company.
Removing the tag does not remove or reduce the hazard. The tag may be the only way to track a problem.
If an appliance is found faulty then a "Danger! Do Not Use" tag should also be attached.
Be aware that the person who removes the tag may be held responsible for an accidental death.
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No! If an item has a removable power lead, both items need to be tested and tagged: One on the flex, and one on the appliance body.
No! Tagging is ONLY indicating electrical safety. It affirms that an appliance can be connected to
the 240 Volt supply without the user being in danger of electrocution. The actual operation of the appliance is of no
The following may all be liable: -
- the workplace,
- the labour hire company,
- the equipment suppliers,
- the employee and
- any other technician who has anything to do with the provision of unsafe equipment.
The Engineering Manager at a large site confiscates untagged equipment so it can be tested by the onsite Tagging Contractor because he realises both his personal and the company's liabilities.
Testing and Tagging alone is not enough! A record of Test results should be kept on site and the person who performs the tests should also keep a copy (for their own legal protection).
Sometimes an appliance will break down when being routinely tested by competent testers. It is often the case that the appliance was already failing or was sub-standard in meeting the Australian test specifications.
In such cases, the appliance should not have even been in service.
For example, an imported labelling printer has a very fragile power supply and often fails during power-up.
If something happens to someone using your faulty tool, you, your boss and the person named on the tag may certainly need legal representation.
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Of course you can. But are you are sure that they will test to AS/NZ 3760:2003 as a minimum
In a recent forum article on Testing and Tagging a contributor wrote,
"All the lighting equipment was tagged by a licensed electrician and which, in my opinion, would not even pass first base in the testing procedure - visual inspection. Some of the equipment had secondary insulation coming away from plug ends, cracked plug ends, broken hinges on lamp bases and domestic construction cabling on lighting equipment, etc."
Is this your Electrician or Test and Tag contractor?
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There are special requirements enforceable by law to cover these items:-
- A person supplying or offering to supply second hand electrical equipment
must have a label attached to the equipment stating that the equipment is
- A business – and this includes charitable organisations that are offer
for sale or offer to supply second-hand electrical equipment must attach a label
to that equipment stating that it is second hand. The label should also
state that the equipment has been
inspected, tested and that it also complies with Australian/New Zealand
Standard (AS/NZS) 3760; OR
- If it has not been tested, the business supplying or offering to supply
second hand electrical equipment must include a clear statement on the
label, stating the equipment is second hand, with additional words as
|DANGER – DO NOT USE OR CONNECT TO SUPPLY – THIS
ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT MAY BE FAULTY AND SHOULD
BE INSPECTED AND TESTED BY A COMPETENT PERSON IN
ACCORDANCE WITH AS/NZS 3760.
Some charitable organisations now choose NOT to deal in second-hand
electrical items. Please check with them BEFORE leaving your donation at the
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The following colours apply to all States except NSW.
||January - March
||April - June
||July - September
||October - December
||January - June
||July - December
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Send your question to the webmaster and it may be included here.
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Remember VicTesters for
Ethical Test & Tag and Safety Switch Testing.