top of page

Understanding Electrical Testing and Tagging Compliance with Regulations in New Zealand

In New Zealand, electrical testing and tagging are crucial aspects of ensuring workplace safety and compliance with regulations. Ensuring electrical safety is paramount across a wide range of environments, from high-risk industrial facilities to low-risk residential properties.


This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of electrical testing and tagging compliance, highlighting the regulations in place and the importance of adherence to these standards.



Understanding Electrical Testing and Tagging Compliance with Regulations in New Zealand


Overview of Electrical Testing and Tagging


New Zealand's commitment to workplace safety has been brought into sharp focus with recent statistics revealing sobering numbers regarding work-related fatalities and illnesses.


‘The total cost of fatalities, serious injuries and health effects totalled $4,391m in 2022. — Business Leaders Health & Safety Forum.

According to the inaugural report by the Business Leaders' Health and Safety Forum, New Zealand averages 73 workplace fatalities annually. Shockingly, this figure is double the number reported in Australia.




Supporting these findings is data from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) from 2022, which underscores the urgency of addressing work-related risks and hazards in New Zealand.


These statistics serve as a wake-up call, emphasising the importance of prioritising workplace safety and implementing robust preventive measures to mitigate the risks of accidents and illnesses on the job.




What is Electrical Testing and Tagging?


Electrical testing and tagging is a systematic procedure used to verify the safety and compliance of electrical appliances and equipment. The process involves two key steps: electrical testing and equipment tagging.


Why do we need to perform Testing and Tagging?


The primary purpose of testing and tagging electrical equipment is twofold:


  1. Identifying Faults: Testing allows for the detection of electrical faults, such as insulation breakdown, loose connections, or damaged components. By identifying these issues early on, corrective action can be taken to prevent accidents and ensure the safe operation of equipment.

  2. Compliance and Accountability: Tagging provides a visual indication of the equipment's compliance status and the date of its last inspection. This helps employers and employees easily identify equipment that has been tested and deemed safe for use.


It also ensures accountability by documenting maintenance and inspection records, demonstrating compliance with regulatory requirements.




AS/NZS 3760:2022: Appliance Testing Standards in New Zealand


AS/NZS 3760:2022 is a standard published by Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand. The full title of this standard is "AS/NZS 3760:2022 - In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment and RCDs." It provides guidelines and requirements for the in-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment in Australia and New Zealand.


The standard outlines the procedures and intervals for inspecting and testing electrical equipment to ensure its ongoing safety and compliance with electrical safety regulations. This includes equipment used in workplaces, homes, and other environments.


The purpose of AS/NZS 3760:2022 is to establish a systematic approach to managing electrical equipment safety, reducing the risk of electrical accidents, and ensuring that electrical equipment is fit for use.




Key aspects covered by AS/NZS 3760:2022 include:


  1. Inspection and Testing Intervals: The standard provides recommendations on how often different types of electrical equipment should be inspected and tested.

  2. Testing Procedures: It outlines the testing procedures that should be followed, including visual inspections, testing for electrical continuity, insulation resistance testing, and other relevant tests.

  3. Recording and Tagging: AS/NZS 3760:2022 specifies requirements for documenting the inspection and testing results, and it often involves the use of durable tags or labels to indicate the status of the equipment.


It's important for businesses and individuals to comply with standards like AS/NZS 3760:2022 to ensure the safety of electrical equipment and to meet legal and regulatory requirements. Keep in mind that standards may be updated over time, so it's essential to check for the latest versions and revisions.



Are we legally required to test and tag?


While testing and tagging are not legally mandated in New Zealand workplaces, they serve as a practical method for maintaining electrical safety.


The decision to implement testing and tagging rests with the Person Conducting Business or Undertaking (PCBU). Despite its non-mandatory status, from a health and safety angle, employers are obliged to ensure a safe working environmen. Protecting your workers at every step is vital.




What Appliances Need Testing & Tagging


The recommended intervals for testing and tagging different types of electrical equipment.


  1. Portable Appliances: Portable electrical appliances, such as laptops, power tools, and kitchen appliances, should generally be tested and tagged every six months to one year.

  2. Fixed Electrical Equipment: Fixed electrical equipment, such as stationary machinery and appliances connected to electrical outlets, typically requires less frequent testing compared to portable appliances. The recommended interval for testing fixed equipment is usually every two to five years.

  3. Extension Leads and Power Boards: Extension leads and power boards should be tested & tagged at the same intervals as portable appliances, typically every six months to one year.

  4. Residual Current Devices (RCDs): RCDs, also known as safety switches, should be tested regularly to ensure they are functioning correctly. The recommended interval for testing RCDs is typically every six months to one year, although more frequent testing may be necessary for critical equipment or in high-risk environments.

  5. Emergency Lighting and Exit Signs: Emergency lighting systems and exit signs should be tested regularly to ensure they are operational in the event of a power failure or emergency. The recommended interval for testing emergency lighting and exit signs is typically every six months to one year.





NOTE: The frequency of testing may vary depending on factors such as equipment types, its usage patterns and the operating environment. Employers should conduct a risk assessment to determine the appropriate testing intervals for electrical equipment in their workplace.





High-risk Environments & Low-risk Environments


High-risk Environments:


1. Industrial Facilities: 


  • Factories, warehouses, and manufacturing plants often house complex electrical systems prone to wear and tear.

  • Recommended Testing Frequency: Every 6 months.


2. Construction Sites:


  • Temporary installations and equipment at construction sites require regular inspection to ensure compliance with safety standards.

  • Recommended Testing Frequency: Every 3 months.


High-risk Environments & Low-risk Environments

Low-risk Environments:


1. Healthcare Facilities:


  • Hospitals, clinics, and medical centres require reliable electrical systems to power critical equipment. TESTntel specialised testing procedures help healthcare facilities maintain compliance and minimise downtime.

  • Recommended Testing Frequency: Annually, depending on the size and complexity of the facility.


2. Hospitality Establishments:


  • Hotels, motels, restaurants and hostels cater to guests from diverse backgrounds, making electrical safety a top priority.

  • Recommended Testing Frequency: Every 6 to 12 months, depending on the size and usage of the establishment.

3. Commercial Buildings:


  • Offices (e.g. workstation, IT equipment) rely on electricity for daily operations.

  • Recommended Testing Frequency: Every 5 years.


4. Educational Institutions:


  • Schools, universities, and training centres accommodate large numbers of students and faculty members.

  • Recommended Testing Frequency: Every 12 to 24 months, depending on the size and usage of the facility.


5. Recreational Venues:


  • Gyms, sports centres, and entertainment venues host activities that demand uninterrupted electrical supply.

  • Recommended Testing Frequency: Every 6 to 12 months, depending on the size and usage of the venue.


6. Farms Facilities:


  • Farms facilities require reliable electrical systems to power machinery and equipment.

  • Recommended Testing Frequency: Every 12 months, depending on the size and complexity of the operation.


7. Outdoor Events and Festivals:


  • Temporary electrical setups at outdoor events and festivals require meticulous testing to prevent accidents and ensure seamless operations.

  • Recommended Testing Frequency: Every 12 month or before each event.




Responsibilities of Employers and Employees


In New Zealand, the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 mandates that employers and contractors provide the highest level of protection against health and safety risks, encompassing both physical and mental well-being.




Best Practices for Facility Managers in Managing Electrical Testing and Tagging


  1. Establish a Schedule: Create a regular testing schedule based on industry standards, regulations and the specific needs of your facility, ensuring compliance and safety.

  2. Centralise Record-Keeping: Maintain a centralised system for recording testing activities, providing transparency and accountability.

  3. Encourage Reporting and Communicate Effectively: Establish clear channels for reporting and address issues in a timely manner to prevent accidents and ensure compliance.


At TESTntel, we've enhanced testing and tagging services through cutting-edge technology, exemplified by our QR code system. Our commitment extends to offering email and phone call reminders prior to your appliance or facility's scheduled evaluation.

You will receive a detailed and relevant description of your appliances, and a photographic inventory, traceability, and editing capabilities like reporting if an item is faulty.


Have a look at the TESTntel Customer Portal: https://www.testandtag.co.nz/testntel-portal.



Conclusion


In conclusion, understanding and complying with electrical testing and tagging regulations in New Zealand is essential for ensuring workplace safety and minimising the risk of electrical hazards. By following the guidelines outlined in this blog post, businesses can maintain compliance with standards and prioritise the safety of your employees and customers.


 

TESTntel Auckland Head Office - 4 Kitson Place, Saint Johns
TESTntel Auckland Head Office - 4 Kitson Place, Saint Johns

At TESTntel, safety is our top priority, regardless of the environment. Contact us today for a FREE QUOTE. Learn more about how TESTntel can help safeguard your environment against electrical hazards.


Learn more about TESTntel Field Services: https://www.testntel.co.nz/field-services.

Comments


bottom of page