Laws have been in place for years that encourage employers to minimise the risk of electrical accidents. For organisations to meet New Zealand’s safety guidelines, all workplace appliances must be tested regularly by a provider of commercial electrical services. The 1997 Electricity Act contains a list of regulations that reinforce companies’ obligation to provide a safe work environment, and information on these regulations are listed below.
Occupational Safety and Health Regulations
Work Safe assigns employees and organisations the duty of care to ensure workplace safety. They require the maintenance of systems in a manner that prevents danger to the extent possible. Whilst testing is not mandatory, maintaining a safe work environment is—and noncompliance could form the basis for prosecution.
Equipment to be Tested
Generally, all of a workplace’s electrical items must be tested except for those listed below.
- Suspended light fittings
- Items that would have to be disassembled for testing
- Items that are stationary and connected directly to the building’s wiring
Appliance testing by industrial electrical services is intended to confirm safe operation within parameters. Almost 90% of electrical faults can be detected with a visual examination, and testing equipment can find hidden issues. As workplace appliances have become more complicated, PATs (portable appliance testers) have become a widely-used testing tool.
AS/NZS 3760 requires electrical testing to be done by a competent individual, not necessarily a licensed electrician. Many organisations have concerns over the time and money spent on compliance, but hiring a company that provides electrical services in Auckland to do the testing will usually cost less than $7 per item.
Controlling the Cost of Electrical Testing
To control the cost of testing workplace electrical equipment, corporate managers should consider the expense of training staff to use testing equipment or hiring commercial electrical services. AS/NZS 3760 can help boards challenge providers who advise excessive compliance, and some organisations may be able to access bulk testing discounts through Standards New Zealand.
While most electrical equipment provides years of worry-free use, it must still be tested regularly in accordance with New Zealand law. If you own a company and need help remaining compliant with testing rules, visit our electrical experts at Oryx Electrical (oryxelectrical.co.nz).