Why is electrical testing important?
In Western Australia, the law requires employers to provide a high standard of safety and health at their workplaces and ensure, as far as practicable, that employees are not injured or harmed because of their work.
As an employer, you have a responsibility to provide and maintain, as far as practicable, a safe working environment for your workers, under Section 19(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (OSH Act). This is called the employer’s ‘duty of care’. This includes providing and maintaining workplaces, plant and systems of work so your workers are not exposed to hazards. Ensuring that all portable plug in electrical equipment and residual current devices (RCD’s) at the workplace are safe and appropriately inspected, tested and maintained by a competent person is an important step in meeting this responsibility.
Can it be done in house?
A person who has been deemed competent may undertake electrical testing. Competency is achieved through a course provided by an RTO. Some employers choose to wear the expense of training staff and maintaining their electrical tagging in-house.
An employer should weight up the pros and cons of undertaking in-house electrical tagging vs contracting the work out.
In-house electrical testing can result in poorly maintained electrical equipment due to time constraints on staff. In addition, the costs involved in training staff can quickly add up when staff members leave the company or changes roles. Furthermore, testing equipment requires annual calibration at significant expense. Using a contractor for your electrical testing and tagging can save you time and money.