Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act,
all employers are required to minimise risks to employees'
health and safety, including risks which are presented by
the use of electrical appliances.
In NSW, the Occupational
Health and Safety Regulation 2001 Section 64(2)(a3) says
that all portable electrical articles in a workplace where
the "safe operation of the electrical article could
be affected by a hostile operating environment" must
be regularly inspected, tested and maintained by a competent
person to ensure that they are safe for use".
The regulation goes on
to explain that "hostile operating environment"
means an operating environment "where an electrical
article is in its normal use subjected to operating conditions
that are likely to result in damage to the article, and,
for example includes an operating environment that may:
(a) cause mechanical damage to the article, or
(b) expose the article to moisture, heat, vibration, corrosive
substances or dust that is likely to result in damage to
Parts (a) and (b) above
give us some common examples of operating conditions that
may be considered to constitute a hostile environment. Other
factors which may contribute to a hostile operating environment
may be careless use of equipment by staff, or abuse by members
of the public. Some appliances are just used so much that
everyday wear and tear amounts to mechanical damage that
presents a risk to users of the equipment.
Most workplaces present at least one or two of these factors
that may constitute a hostile operating environment, some
workplaces such as construction sites or factories may present
all of these harsh operating conditions.
What is the solution?
Inspection, testing and tagging by a competent Test and
Tag technician. Sydney Electrical Appliance Testing technicians
can help you to identify hostile operating conditions, and
to regularly maintain your electrical equipment so that
it is safe for use by your staff.
Whether you run a workshop,
school, a kitchen, a university or a construction site,
electrical safety is paramount. All levels of management
are legally responsible for workplace safety, and a documented
risk management approach is required.
Contact Sydney Electrical
Appliance Testing on 02 9086
9068 to discuss your electrical testing and maintenance
To learn more about your
electrical appliance safety obligations under the WHS
Act, click on 'Why
test and tag?'.