Do I need to have my appliances Tested and Tagged?

It is every employer's obligation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 to ensure that they provide a safe place of work for their employees. This includes ensuring that the risk of electric shock from portable electrical equipment and appliances is minimised. There are substantial penalties for employers and all levels of management where inadequate safety leads to the injury or death of a worker. Electrical testing and tagging forms a part of your workplace risk management system.

How often do I need to get my electrical appliances Tested?

For the most common environments, Melbourne Test and Tagging recommend the following frequencies:

3 months

Building, construction and demolition

6 months

Factories, warehouses and production

Table 4: AS/NZS 3760 - Test and Tag Intervals

The intervals listed below are only a recommendation and should be taken into account as a minimum requirement when PAT testing. If you have been given the job to test and tag a workplace and then discover that the previous person responsible for this task was testing items at a different frequency than recommended, it could be because:

1) The person testing and tagging was ill-informed about the test periods and is doing it incorrectly

2) The workplace business owner has completed their own risk assessment

If you require any clarification or you're unsure of your test intervals, please contact us or call 0403 845 555

Table 4 - Testing and Inspection Intervals for Electrical Equipment

How do I Organise an Inspection of our Electrical Appliance?

Melbourne Test and Tagging office hours are 8.00am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Bookings can be made by phoning 0403 845 555 or emailing


We can also make arrangements to visit your workplace after hours or on the weekend to ensure there is minimal disruption to your business.

Tradesman and contractors can bring tools to our address at 15 McKinnon Road, McKinnon 3240, and have them tested overnight.

Phase appliance tester

What is the relevant australian standard for Test and Tag?

Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760: 2003 is the relevant standard for the safety inspection and testing of electrical appliances.

What does the Inspection and Testing involve?

Our qualified test and tag technicians come to your workplace at a time that is convenient for you.

Each appliance is disconnected from the power and then visually inspected. This includes examining the plug, the flexible cord and the cord strain reliefs. Depending on the type of appliance, we then use electrical testing instruments to test for invisible flaws such as broken earth connection or flawed insulation. Once the appliance passes the tests, a record is made in the Appliance Test Log database and a compliance tag bearing information about the date of testing is affixed to the cord.

After the completion of testing at your workplace, we will issue you with a copy of the Appliance Test Log for your OHS Risk Management records.

We have an rcd “safety switch” installed. Aren’t we protected?

No, not entirely. A "Safety Switch" or Residual Current Device (RCD) only protects against certain types of electrical faults.

It is recommended that all workplaces and homes be fitted with RCDs, and since 2007, the Wiring Rules, AS3000:2007 requires an RCD to be installed on all new circuits which supply power points. The use of an RCD however, is no excuse for complacency when it comes to the regular inspection and testing of your electrical appliances.

Does our “safety switch” (rcd) need regular testing?

Yes. Your RCDs need to be tested to ensure that they will respond to a fault situation quickly enough, and before there is enough current flowing to give a person a dangerous electric shock. Melbourne Test and Tagging Appliance Testing can test your RCDs to ensure that their trip time is within the standard.

How long does it take to Test and Tag?

The time taken to test each device is different. For example, a power-board needs to have every outlet tested individually, and therefore takes longer to test. As a rough guide, we find that 15 appliances can be properly tested by one technician in one hour.

How many faulty items do you find?

About 2% of all items tested are faulty. Many of these faulty items have the potential to cause electrocution and/or electrical fire.

We find that tidy office spaces usually have less faulty equipment than workshops or building sites. This fact is recognised within the Australian Standard, and hence the period between inspections varies, depending on the type of workplace. In some cases it can be as long as 5 years between inspections.

RCD’s should be checked regularly

Our power tools and appliances have worked fine for years/ how can anything be wrong with them?

Appliances can still function when they are unsafe. Here are two common scenarios:

a) The Earth (Green) wire (inside the cord) becomes severed or detached from the metal appliance casing. In this case, the appliance will still appear to function normally. However, if a fault occurs and electrical current flows to the metal casing, a person who touches the appliance will suffer an electric shock.

b) The cord of a frequently used appliance such as a power drill becomes worn internally. The cord looks normal on the outside, but inside, the copper wires protrude through the insulation, and begin to short circuit. There is a real risk of an electrical fire in this case.

Do we need to do anything to prepare for Melbourne Test and Tagging to Test and Tag?

We do suggest that you direct your staff to have a quick look at this website, so they have an understanding of the testing process.

Staff should be made aware that they will need to shut down their computers (excluding laptops) and other sensitive equipment for about 3 minutes each whilst the technician inspects and tests them.

Depending on your location, you may need to provide parking for the technician.

You also need to ensure that the technician will have easy access to all items which need to be tested. If furniture or equipment will need to be moved, please have someone available to do this.

To assist in expediting the testing process all power tools, leads and appliances can be placed in one location prior to technician’s arrival.

What kind of Documentation will we receive?

All clients receive an Appliance Test Log which is spreadsheet of the inspection and test results for each item we test and tag. We generally issue these documents as an electronic Adobe .PDF file. We can also provide you with an Asset Register in a Microsoft Excel format file if you wish. You will also receive an itemised Tax Invoice.

What about Appliances at home?

Electrical safety is just as important in the family home as it is in the workplace. You can help to keep your family safe from electrical shock or electrical fire by having your appliances checked. Changing your appliance plugs to the new, insulated pins plugs will help to reduce the risk of electric shock. Melbourne Test and Tagging can also change the plugs on your 230V appliances from UK, Europe, Hong Kong, etc to Australian Standard plugs, and safety test each appliance.