In this article we will have a look at the main points of AS/NZS 3760:2022, addressing some common questions on what should be tested and what does not need to be tested. We will also address the legal requirements behind the Australian standards and some of the main points relating the testing and tagging.

What is AS/NZS 3760:2022 – your complete guide

Introduction

In this article we will have a look at the main points of AS/NZS 3760:2022, addressing some common questions on what should be tested and what does not need to be tested. We will also address the legal requirements behind the Australian standards and some of the main points relating the testing and tagging.

Are Australian Standards mandatory?

Standards are published documents that are designed to provide guidance to ensure safety, performance, and reliability in the workplace.

Standards are not law, however is some industries it is mandatory to conform with standards if there is a law that says you must.

For example, the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991 states that an electrician shall carry out electrical work in accordance with standards asspecified in schedule 2 of the regulations.

Due to the word “shall” it now makes the listed standards in schedule 2 mandatory.

Standards Australia publish the standards and are a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization.

Why do Australian Standards matter?

AS/NZS 3760:2022

AS/NZS3760:2022 In service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment and RCDs, outlines inspection, testing and tagging methods.

It specifies the procedures for testing and tagging single and three phase electrical equipment that is connected by a flexible lead to a low voltage supply.

What equipment needs to be tested?

Equipmentthat should be inspected and tested include:

·        New equipment

·        Equipment already in use

·        Equipment that has been serviced or repaired

·        Equipment which was purchased second hand or

·        Equipment that is available for hire

AS/NZS 3760:2022 also set out the procedure for testing residual current devices (RCDS) installed in electrical installations or portable residual current devices (PRCD).

What equipment does not need to be tested?

AS/NZS 3760:2022 does not include the following items;

·        Electrical equipment installed at a height of 2.5m or greater

·        Equipment that needs to be dismantled to perform the inspection and tests (any dismantling should only be carried out by a competent person)

·        RCDs used for the supply of medical equipment

·        Fixed or stationary equipment that is not exposed to a hostile environment

·        Medical electrical equipment

·        Portable generators within the scope of AS/NZS 3010:2017

·        Demonstration stock in retail or wholesale outlets

Competent person for inspection and testing

Competent Person is someone who has the necessary practical and theoretical skills, acquired through training, qualification or experience or combination of these to correctly undertake the required tasks.

The Guidelines on the electrical knowledge of a competent person include:

a)      Basic electrical principles – introduction to electricity, AC and DC and electrical units: Amps, OHMS, Volts

b)     Circuit Protection – fuses, circuit breakers, RCDs

c)      Electrical safety – working with electricity and effects of electrical current

d)      Inspection and testing to AS/NZS 3760:2022 – classes of equipment, types if insulation, insulation resistance, leakage current, correct, and safe use of test equipment

How often should you test and tag?

AS/NZS3760:2022 recommends equipment is tested and inspected at intervals indicated in Table 2.4. Generally, a tolerance of 2 weeks is accepted or this can be varied based on a risk assessment.

Equipment should not be dismantled for regular testing and tagging tag?

Types ofelectrical equipment – construction of electrical equipment

It is important that accessible earth parts of equipment from supply voltage are prevented from becoming live in the event of insulation failingduring normal use.

Class I

Protection can be provided with basic insulation between the accessiblemetal parts and the live parts, and earthing of the accessible metal parts.Equipment or appliances where some of the accessible metal parts requireprotective earthing are refereed to as Class 1 equipment.

Class II

Equipment can also have a provision of double insulation or reinforced insulation between the accessible metal parts and the live parts. Equipment where none of the accessible metal parts require protective earthing due to the double insulation or reinforced insulation are referred to as Class II equipment. This equipment is generally manufactured with a non-conductive enclosure and is marked either DOUBLE INSULATED or with the square within a square symbol

 

What tests should be carried out on appliances and equipment?

Visual Inspection

In general, 90% of faults are detected from a visual inspection therefore all equipmentshould be visually inspected.

Polarity Test

Cord sets and cord extension sets with rewirable plugs shall be checked for correct polarity

The conductor colours for flexible cords are;

Active – Brown

Neutral – Blue

Earth – Green and Yellow

 

Earth Continuity Test

Earth continuity test shall be measured between any accessible metal parts and the earth pin pf the plug.

For extension leads, power boards (EPODs) and PRCDs the earth resistance should be measured between the plug earth connection of the socket.

This test should confirm that the resistance of the protective earth circuit is sufficiently low enough to ensure correct operation of the circuit protecting device.

 

Insulation Testing

The integrity of the insulation shall be measured between the live parts and other parts of the equipment by measuring the leakage current value or the insulation resistance value.

 

Leakage Test

The leakage test is performed when the equipment is operating at its rated voltage. Caution must taken as a shock hazard may be present when performing a leakage test.

For more information on Leakage testing see our article – What is a Leakage Test?

 

Insulation resistance

An insulation test uses a nominal voltage of 500v dc to measure the insulation resistance in ohms. If the insulation test fails due to the equipment containing surge power devices such as Metal Oxide varistors a nominal testing voltage of 250V dc can be used,

 

How should I test residual current device(RCD)?

A push button test by user every 6 months for fixed RCDs and every 3months for portable RCDs. It would be prudent to do a push button test every time you used aportable RCD. I

t is recommended that the operating time of and push-button test of RCDs occurs every 12 months for fixed RCDs and every 12 months for portable RCDs. Maximum tripping times as per the following table.

 

RCD  Type

Type I (10mA) with a maximum tripping time of 40mS

Type II (30mA) with a maximum tripping time of 300mS 

Documentation for testing and tagging

Records of inspections and testing should be kept for all equipment that is inspected and/or tested.

When records are kept , the following should be recorded:

(a) A record of all equipment

(b) A record of formal inspections and tests;

(c) A 'repair' register

(d) A record of all faulty equipment showing details of services or corrective actions

Where records are kept, they should be retained for 7 years, or such period as required by the relevant regulator. It is acceptable for the purposes of this Standard to keep these records in electronic format if this is the preferred method.

ETA Training Test and Tag Course

For those seeking a reputable training provider, ETA Training offers a comprehensive Test and Tag Course. This course covers all aspects of AS/NZS3760:2022 and how it relates to test and tag procedures, ensuring participants are well-equipped to carry out inspections in compliance with industry standards.

Conclusion

Test and tag training is a critical component of workplace safety, addressing the potential hazards associated with electrical equipment. Understanding the process, regulations, and qualifications needed is essential for creating a secure work environment. By staying informed and completing a recognised training course, individuals can contribute to the overall safety andwell-being of their workplace.

 

UsefulLinks

ETA Training - Test and Tag Course

Guide to testing and taggingportable electrical equipment and residual current devices at workplaces

AS/NZS 3760:2022 – Standards Australia

Video - Why do Australian Standardsmatter?

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