Test & Tag Frequency Requirements
In Australia the test and tag frequency, otherwise known as test and tag intervals, refers to how long is needed before an electrical appliance must be tested and tagged.
The AS/NZS 3760: 2022 Standard makes recommendations for electrical testing and tagging frequencies via Table 2.4 - a sort of 'bible' for everything test and tag related. It should be seen at the very least as a minimum requirement for everyone in VIC, NSW, QLD, WA and SA.
Here are the main intervals you should be aware of:
||construction, building and demolition
|factories, production and warehouse
||where equipment/cord is prone to flexing (or open to abuse) i.e. schools, offices, office kitchen
||where equipment/cord is not prone to flexing (or open to abuse) i.e. server rooms
AS/NZS 3760: 2022 Standard - Table 2.4
In the Australian Standard AS 3760, it specifies that the amount of time between testing and tagging is based upon the type of environment that appliance is located in.
It's also important to remember that some businesses undertake their own risk assessment. This means they might have a different test and tag frequency which is more frequent than what's specified. This is of course absolutely fine, whereas testing less frequently is not acceptable.
All testing and tagging is of course accomplished via a portable appliance tester, or as some call it a PAT tester or Test & Tag Machine, along with a visual inspection.
It's worth mentioning that the Test & Tag Standard was changed in 2022, with one of those changes affecting the test and tag frequency table which used to be referred to as Table 4. The new one can now be found below.
Frequency for building, construction and demolition
The most strict of all industries require testing every three months due to their sheer hostility. These include people working on building and construction sites or demolition. Often marine is also included to this list of harsh environments.
A lot of the information relating to these environments fall under the AS/NZS 3012 Standard. In addition to stricter intervals, you're also required to use particular test and tag colours at certain times of the year. These colours will change every three months, coinciding with your periodic testing.
Frequency for hire equipment
For hire equipment, the electrical equipment needs to be visually inspected prior to being hired, as well as being tested and tagged every three months.
In terms of who actually does the testing, it depends on a couple of factors. If the hiree has the equipment for at least 3 months, it will be their resposibility (otherwise it lies with the hirer when it is in their possession).
Frequency for second hand equipment
Second hand equipment is now specifically mentioned within the intervals table but is generally covered under a seperate Standard which is 5761. However, the testing procedures still remain the same as 3760. Essentially, there is no re-test period for second hand equipment as they are being sold to an end user. The actual test tags used look different as well, which are the Second Hand Equipment Tags.