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Testing and tagging of electrical equipment

Specified electrical equipment and safety switches need to be tested at intervals according to type of work they are used for. For construction work this information is in AS/NZS 3012 Electrical installations – Construction and demolition sites

For manufacturing, service, office, amusement and rural industry work, information is in the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013. Additional information is also available in AS/NZS 3760 In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment.

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Who can test electrical equipment?

Only a person appointed as competent by their employer can test and tag electrical equipment.

Competence is based on knowledge and skills gained from training, experience, qualifications or a combination of these. It is an offence under the Electrical Safety Act 2002 to repair electrical equipment unless you have the appropriate electrical work licence.

Tagging electrical equipment

A durable tag must be attached after inspecting and testing to clearly show the test date and the next scheduled test and inspection date.

Tagging electrical equipment

A tool showing the inspection and testing tag (blue impact drill with tag off handle).

Intervals for testing specified electrical equipment

The type of work being performed determines how often specified electrical equipment is tested. Specified electrical equipment is defined by section 97 of the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 as electrical equipment with a current rating of not more than 20 amps*. Specified electrical equipment also includes cord extension sets and electrical portable outlet devices (EPODs). *For service or office work, specified equipment is limited to equipment that is moved during its normal use for the purpose of its use.

The table below outlines the maximum interval between tests.

Note: there are specific requirements on a hire company for inspecting, tagging and testing hire equipment.

Type of work and/or equipment Test and tag interval (maximum)
Amusement devices and rides (not specified)
(A device or ride supplied by a plug with a current rating of not more than 20 amps must also be connected to a type 1 safety switch or type 2 safety switch)
After each onsite assembly, and every 6 months
Amusement work - double insulated specified equipment 12 months
Amusement work – specified equipment not double insulated 6 months
Construction work – transportable structures, fixed and transportable equipment and construction wiring 6 months
Construction work – other equipment 3 months
Manufacturing work – double insulated equipment 12 months
Manufacturing work – equipment not double insulated 6 months
Office work (If no safety switch) 5 years
Rural work – equipment used under stated risk factors* and no safety switch 12 months
Service work (If no safety switch) 12 months


*See section 120 of the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 for stated electrical risk factors

Intervals for testing Type 1 and Type 2 safety switches

For all other work, refer to the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013.

The type of work being performed determines how often safety switches are tested. The table below outlines the maximum interval between tests.

For construction work, refer to AS/NZS 3012 Electrical installations – Construction and demolition sites.

For all other work, refer to the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 and, where applicable, AS/NZS 3760 In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment.

If the equipment is safe you must attach a durable tag which shows when the next test is due.

Type of work Fixed safety switch Portable safety switch
  Push-button user Test Operating time / current test Push-button user Test Operating time / current test
Construction work 1 month 12 months Daily, or before each use, whichever is the longer 3 months
Manufacturing work 6 months* 12 months* Daily, or before each use, whichever is the longer*# 12 months*#
Office work 6 months* 2 years* 3 months* 2 years*
Amusement work 6 months* 12 months* 3 months* 12 months*
Service work - commercial cleaning equipment N/A N/A Daily, or before each use, whichever is the longer* 6 months*
Service work - other 6 months* 2 years* 6 months* 2 years*

*Longer test intervals may apply. Consult AS/NZS 3760 In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment.

# From 1 March 2008 portable safety switches were prohibited from use in manufacturing work

Equipment that fails testing should be immediately ;taken out of use and a durable tag must be attached warning people not to use the equipment.

If the equipment is safe you must attach a durable tag which shows when the next test is due.

Note: The requirements of the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 referenced in this guidance material takes precedence over the Australian standard AS/NZS 3760. The additional benefits of applying the requirements of the standard may assist in addressing specific risks associated with a work environment

Last updated
12 September 2019

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