Test and Tag for Film and Television
In NSW there are three main documents
which cover electrical safety for film and TV work sites:
1. Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001 (NSW)
2. Australian Standard 4249 - Electrical Safety practices
for film and television sites
3. Australian Standard 3760:2003 - In-service inspection and
testing of electrical appliances
The basic principle of electrical safety is stated in section
64 of the OH&S Regulation 2001:
"An employer must ensure that any risk of injury from
electricity at a place of work is eliminated or, if elimination
is not reasonably practicable, the risk is controlled".
The guidelines for testing and tagging
are different depending on the type of environment in which
the appliances are operating.
Equipment On Set
Any film set is taken to be quite a
high-risk environment for electrical equipment. Some reasons
for this include:
- Outdoor location or exposure to weather or atmospheric SFX
- Use of Forklifts, boom-lifts, and other vehicles which may
- Presence of water or other liquids
- Presence of dust, dirt, debris etc.
- Presence of chemicals, solvents etc
- High temperatures associated with film lighting equipment
- Unknown origin of electrical props and practical lighting
Because film sets and locations are
a relatively hostile environment for electrical equipment
and appliances, it is generally accepted by film electricians
that all appliances must be tested and tagged before going
Film & TV Departmental Offices
New laws in NSW lower the test and tag
requirements for low-risk work environments. An example of
a low-risk work environment might be an accounting firm's
office, which is a permanent setup, and all appliances are
purchased new by the company, and not provided by individuals.
There are guidelines, but no definite rules for a workplace
like film production offices. The regulation is designed so
that the employer can make a documented risk assessment for
each particular work environment.
The electrical risks in an environment
such as a film production office may be assessed as significantly
higher than in a permanent business office , such as an accountants'
or an architects' office. There are a few of reasons for this:
- It is a temporary workplace - which means a reliance on
extension cords and power boards rather than fixed wiring
which has been installed and tested by an electrician.
- A variety of appliances which may come from various past
productions, or be brought in from home by staff.
- The lack of a specific person who is competent to assess
electrical risks, and responsible for identifying and eliminating
- Past experience of having withdrawn from service in film
departmental offices many appliances which were extremely
The regulation says that "an employer must ensure that
any risk of injury from electricity at a place of work is
eliminated or, if elimination is not reasonably practicable,
the risk is controlled".
The most practical way to control the risk from the use of
portable electrical equipment is to test and tag all items
which are to be used on the production.
Film and TV Electrical Testing
Sydney Electrical Appliance Testing are the experts when it
comes to test and tag for film and television productions.
With many years of experience in electrical testing for films
such as Moulin Rouge, Matrix II & III, Star Wars III,
and Superman Returns, you can be sure that SEAT understands
your requirements and special applications. Contact
Us for more information.
to know more about the testing procedure and find out how
easy it can be? Click on 'FAQ'
ARTICLE: What is test and tag? Click