I've been reading an article in a local electrical magazine regarding the testing and tagging regime, that has allowed a lot of new business' to spring up, in the name of Health and Safety over the last decade or so in Australia and indeed New Zealand.
The premise is that all portable electrical equipment, that connects via a flexible cord,
is required to be tested and tagged as safe at regular intervals.
The premise is also that none of the testing or the actual visual and physical
inspections required for the affixing of a safety tag to a given flex, is "prescribed
electrical work", therefore ANYONE and their dog can do it.
Herein lies the rub, you don't have to have any real electrical experience, you may
never have even put a plug on the end of a flex before, you may never have even used or
know what a multi-meter is, but if you pass one of these courses that are out there,
you too can be a "test and tagger"!
In the past few years, I've had to deal with folks like this, mainly because, if a power tool
or a flexible cord fails, they aren't legally allowed to repair it, because THAT is
prescribed electrical work, if you are being paid for it, which requires electrical registration of some sort.
And then, they leave the failed tools, etc, in a pile for someone else that has registration, to repair.
The thing is though, this whole thing that testing and tagging, under the current regulations is MANDATORY, is quite simply bollocks.
It is optional as one way to ensure compliance under AS/NZS 3760:2010. (In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment)
Regulation 26 of the 1997 Electricity Regulations gives options other than testing and tagging, however, these seem to have been ignored in the name of starting a whole new industry where the competence of some of the people providing this service, could be seriously questionable.
Especially when to get more work, these people have to certify possibly faulty equipment as safe and test large amounts of equipment in a very short period of time.
What are your thoughts on this?
I'm aware that the testing and tagging thing is huge in the UK, how do things work over there?
Do you need some sort of electrical qualification/training to do this sort of testing there?