The frequency of inspections that are outlined in Section 2 of the Standard, AS/NZS 3760:2010 are recommended but can be varied subject to a risk assessment that has been carried out in accordance with an appropriate risk assessment. The Australian standard includes a table that sets out testing and inspection intervals for various types of equipment from 3 months (for equipment that is high use, high risk, or hire equipment) to up to 5 years (for equipment that is not open to abuse, flexing of cords, etc). In addition to the regular testing and inspection, the standard specified that electrical equipment SHALL be inspected and tested:
- Before return to service after a repair or servicing, which could have affected the electrical safety of the equipment, and
- Before return to service from a second-hand sale, to ensure equipment is safe.
Generally the following should be followed:
- equipment, including tools and leads, on building sites: at least every quarter
- Safety Switches: monthly
- Factories, etc, equipment/machinery/tools on 'the floor': six monthly.
- Offices (including offices in factories): every 3 to 5 years
The checking and tagging of equipment as per AS/NZS 3760 can be done either by a qualified electrician or by someone who has successfully completed an approved course at a TAFE college. However, if you have concerns about the competency of the person undertaking the testing and tagging, then it would be safer to use a qualified electrician with expertise in this area. There are a number of electrical contractors who specialise in the checking and tagging equipment - check the Yellow Pages.
WorkSafe WA has produced a Guide to testing and tagging portable electrical equipment and residual current devices at workplaces [pdf]