Online assistance for electrical trade people Login  |  Register  |   Forgot Password
Assistance for electrical trade people
 

 

 

 


Click here to send Ron a pdf document for publication on this Topic

Documents must be less than 200k in pdf format

Posted By Topic: Barry says BS to T&T

Marvin
Nov 29 2017 16:48

Barry Robinson, Chairman MESNZ

Are you being suckered by the H&S gravy train? You can save money immediately by reading the following.

Test and tagging of electrical appliances and leads is NOT a legal requirement in NZ industrial plants.

If you Google it you’ll find any amount of references convincing you that it is a legal requirement, but follow those links and you will always come to the test and tag industry many of whom are cultivating this fallacy and who ultimately benefit financially from your confusion.

“In the view of the MESNZ this is but one example of the unhelpful ‘smoke and mirrors’ rubbish that gets seized upon and promoted by health and safety advisors and HR practitioners, particularly within larger organisations” said Barry Robinson, Chairman of the Maintenance Engineering Society of NZ.

“What is happening is these misleading H&S processes become de-facto norms and get mimicked by the media and smaller organisations who think that because the big plants are doing it, then it must be the specified standard that needs to be adopted in all industrial operations large or small”.
Portrait of young woman in protective glasses in the factory

Robinson, who has spent over 30 years safely and healthily running NZ’s largest hot forging and heat treatment plant, makes no apologies for his confrontational approach.


https://nzmanufacturer.co.nz/2017/10/health-safety-gravy-train-sucking-productivity-nz-manufacturing/
   

AngryClient
Nov 29 2017 17:36

Barry, Barry, who the fuck is Barry!
   

AngryClient
Nov 29 2017 17:38

Old news to those that bother to be read up on current legislation. Article didn't even really explain a useful alternative.

D+
Could try harder.
   

Kingswell
Nov 30 2017 20:48

What about some reasonable decorum here, Angry Client………have you introduced yourself yet? And haven’t you used this forum in the past to publish your comments on T&T?
The article gives us Barry’s full name, plus the organisation which he chairs.

   

Kingswell
Nov 30 2017 21:09

The full article does give a useful alternative; maybe not a full explanation, but consider it’s really promoting “engaging staff with real H&S”, as opposed to simplistic box-ticking.
   

AngryClient
Nov 30 2017 23:39

Oh by all means... please allow me to introduce myself.

I am (an) AngryClient.

I may have typed up an opinion or two on T&T (as you call it) but I can't recall what I had for breakfast least of all what I may or may not have posted on a public forum.
   

SteveH
Dec 01 2017 20:28

"Other examples are: Compulsory wearing of safety glasses, hard hats and hi-viz vests in industrial plants; proliferation of orange cones; Stress-inducing beepers on machinery, and banning of ladders. These things waste time, money, and productivity"

Crikey, I think I might have heard the roar of one of the last of the Dinosaurs.

But he doesn't decry TnT, just says that you should have RCD's and formal user checks in place as well.

Because, as we all know, while testing and tagging isn't mandatory, being mindful of electrical safety is, and having some formal systems in place to identify and manage workplace hazards is too.

And with the advent of last years H&S legislation, expensive if it goes pear shaped
   

evanh
Dec 02 2017 05:30

It's steel-caps for me! Work suddenly decided everyone needed to wear 'em, on what basis I have no clue. I'm surprised work hasn't mandated we wear hard-hats too. After all, the roof could fall in.

   

AlecK
Dec 02 2017 08:14

Maybe they know you haven't changed your socks all year and think your toes might explode? And you really should wear a hard hat as a precaution against a bird suffering a heart attack and falling on you.

It's easy to laugh at some of the sillier rules. But for most organisations, it's simpler to have blanket rules across the board, and to apply them "just in case". The thinking (if it can truly be called that) is that by making such PPE universal and mandatory, they can avoid being found to have not taken a "reasonably practicable step". Whereas having people actually think about whether a particular precaution is warranted risks them making a decision that turns out to be wrong. So simple-but-often-pointless gets applied.

The intent of the legislation is to be aware of risks and to take reasonable steps to deal with it; with prevention being better than cure. So PPE should be last resort, to be used only when a risk can't be eliminated rather than applied universally in case something unforeseen occurs.
Like your toes exploding.

Blanket rules are often a sign of an organisation that has a tick-box mentality, and can't be arsed actually assessing the risks.

I took that article as being somewhat TIC, intended to get people thinking about the underlying issues; while (correctly) observing that many people - including officials and specialist consultants - mis-represent what the requirements actually are.


   

Marvin
Dec 02 2017 11:10

Thanks guys, I hadn't commented further as there appeared to be little interest, so I have been trying to fumble along with internet research as to why I appear to be either behind the times or missinformed

For example I thought that if electrical equipment in the workplace was not through a RCD then a mandatory requirement for the test and tag regime exists, as set out in 3760/3012 ? but apparently Reg 26 is wrong as there are apparently “other options”.

“test and tag is not a requirement” in such situations ”its all a load of rubbish” is what I have been hearing recently from people who have read Barry's article, and so since the mid 80's when test and tag came in in Aus, I have been decieved into thinking it was a requirment, excluding the RCD and ELV options.

in regards to safety equipment

Long time ago now, in Aus, while fixing a switch plate to a internal brick wall. the screw went tight but as it was almost there, I persevered and a small piece of the screw head broke off and implanted itself in the iris of my eye, it took most of the day and into the night, going from an elderly medical practitioner who could not see it and ending up at an eye specialists to get it removed. so eye glasses have merit, in certain environments.


in regards to blanket rules, it does depend on the environment, some companies preferring blanket rules such as mandatory wearing of safety glasses in designated areas have merit. for example an engineering workshop where grinding/cutting metal etc take place, one only needs to be a passer by or to forget to put back on safety glasses before Grinding/cutting etc and a resultant eye injury is quite possible, in fact even when wearing safety eye glasses engineers have been receiving eye injuries, for example hot particles from metal grinding bouncing off their cheek then rebounding off the back of the safety glasses and into their eye, so some companies have a mandatory policy of double face protection when cutting/grinding, So safety eye glasses plus a full face shield, which can also protect the face from a grinder kick back. whether this policy of double face protection would of saved this chaps eye (below) will always be in question, its a policy many dislike but it has been proven to be effective.

“A company that installs road signs has committed to making changes after a worker lost an eye while using an angle grinder on a Raglan job site.”
“WorkSafe investigated Directionz Limited, after the employee was hurt when the grinder's blade disintegrated and fragments went through the worker's safety glasses in May last year.”

“The worker's left eye was removed as a result of incident.”

“WorkSafe has now accepted an enforceable undertaking from Directionz, which will see the company commit to initiatives costing more than $229,000, including reparation for the worker.”

$229.000 v $20-30.00


http://dailycelebdietnews.com/celebritydiet/?CID=322826&AFID=314556&SID=1110&subid1=100562&subid2=ODljODk2MTE4MjhkNzMxMGJlYWU2NjVhNWE5NTg1OTM
   

AlecK
Dec 02 2017 12:52

WRT ESR 26, it isn't "wrong"; but neither does it mandate T&T. Nor RCDs.

What it does is provide some methods, ie T&T and RCds, that are deemed to get an appliance to "electrically safe in particular circumstances.

but there is no requirement in the Reg to follow either, and no statement that these are the only methods that can get the appliance to 'electrically safe".
Neither is there a requirement anywhere else to reach "electrically safe" in these situations. An appliance must be electrically safe when sold / supplied [ESR 80}, and also after repair [ESR 90]. But for use - either in a workplace or anywhere else - it only has to be not "electrically unsafe" [ESR 15].

There's an inference that can be taken; that by reaching "electrically safe" you'll have met your WHS obligations of all reasonably practicable steps (for that appliance & situation). But it's not necessarily so.
And that's the big problem with T&T; most organisations assume that by adopting the processes - & associated costs - of "3760" then that's all they need to do. Meanwhile the most important aspects, the visual check by user before each use (and while using), often gets missed.

In "practicability" terms (safety vs cost), you get more bang for the buck by investing in RCDs than in T&T - which is no doubt why ES have said they intend to change ESR 26 to 'prefer" RCDs where currently it "prefers" T&T.
   

Marvin
Dec 02 2017 15:03

Thanks AlecK for your reply,I do appreciate it.

I am not trying to be difficult just trying to understand how there are now differing view points, so that I can offer correct information to those who ask me whether they need to be testing and tagging their place of work and why. and hence pre-empt sales reps or others coming behind me telling these same people that “test and tag is not a requirement” ( infering in any situation ) ”its all a load of rubbish” and thus they are being lied to by me, should test and tag of been my suggestion for their situation

I was Taught at Block courses etc that Reg 15 lays out the rules for unsafe in “Using works, installations, fittings, appliances, and associated equipment”
and that reg 26 “ explains “When fittings and appliances in use deemed to be electrically safe”, it offers no alternatives other than than 3a &b , (I thought there is a ELV clause somewhere , but not there obviously)

so in effect there is a requirement to follow Reg26 as it stipulates “when” fittings and appliances in use are deemed to be electrically safe, its in answer to reg 15 for example 15a -“a person who owns or operates works, installations, fittings, or appliances must not use, and must not allow any other person to use, the works, installations, fittings, or appliances if the works, installations, fittings, or appliances are electrically unsafe.”

There is no statement in REG 26 that offers alternatives, it states “When” , as we all know Electricity safety regulation are Legislation or in other words Statutory law

so in effect Reg 26 is how such a thing as a appliance/power tool is proven to be considered safe, this is how I was taught it, and how I have always understood it. there is no in-between “unsafe” and “safe” it is either unsafe or safe

It is not in question for me that RCD’S can be a cost effective and preferred alternative to test and tag, it may even be so for older installations that will require switchboard upgrades etc to do so, but once again its dependent on the situation, as very few existing industrial installations,have RCD’S installed, in fact I know of none, bar one that has wall mounted RCD protected multi power outlet boxes
installed at various locations, then they still require Electricians to hard wire in the likes of 63 amp lifeguards to supply maintenance crews when required .

Therefore for example in a trades related environment , say maintenance of a multitude of places and environments from workshops/fishing boats to saw mills, inside and out , with single and three phase equipment etc, then the non existence of installed RCD’s, does requires test and tagging of their equipment, making RCD installation in their workshop a choice, That will not eliminate the requirement of testing and tagging their equipment

Also would it not be impractical and ineffective in cost to have a multitude of workers carrying around numerous inline rcd’s for various phases and and amperages, which only confuses most non electrical people and they mostly would not use anyway. inline rcd’s still will require testing and tagging, added with the loss and damage factor to these expensive items. meanwhile they angle grinder with numerous cuts and crushes to its supply lead still works, so its ok.

In addition to education/training and rules/requirements etc, In such situations Test and Tag is indeed a major step in “taking all Practicable steps” without rcd’s and without T&T then this would be failing to take all Practicable steps.

An office enviroment for example would be far better on RCD'S

such is the problem with blanket statments, it does not cover a multitude of situations.
   

SteveH
Dec 02 2017 17:28

"“test and tag is not a requirement” in such situations ”its all a load of rubbish” is what I have been hearing recently from people who have read Barry's article"

The "requirement" is to ensure that items connected to an installation are safe to use, at present for employment situations, Reg 26 says that if an item has a current 3760 pass tag, it will be deemed safe.

As many before Barry have pointed out, TnT is a snapshot of an items safety. If it have been done correctly, to the full requirements of AS/NZS3760, it is evidence that item complies with applicable NZ Standards- but too many think it is just a matter of checking an items lead, or it's just an electrical check (it's also checking guards/safety features etc).

To completely cover all bases, fit RCD's, document the results of annual testing of those(push test button acceptable, test & tag items and have a policy of pre use checks.

Do these three things in combination, and it would be hard to see what more could reasonably be done.
   

AlecK
Dec 02 2017 19:45

Just a couple of points at this stage.
Firstly; yes there drfinitely IS a gap between "electrically safe" & "electrically unsafe"; these are two ppoint on a scale of safety and the gap between can be quite large. electrically safe is the level required fr sale / supply of appliances and fittings; and also the level required for certification & commissioning of PEW. Electrically unsafe is the level at which works, installations, appliances and other equipment may no longer remain in service without remedial action. The gap between these two different levels is where in-service works, installations appliances & fittings normally sit.

Secondly; the fact that ESR 26 offers only two methods does NOT mean no other methods can ever achieve "electrically safe". This is simply a "deemed to comply" type clause, if you follow it, you can't be found not to have reached 'electrically safe.
If you apply another, unlisted, option, you may reach "electrically safe" but risk being found to have fallen short.
   

zl2aj
Dec 04 2017 08:12

Interesting that ESR 26 gives options to get to "electrically safe" If test tag is fitted IAW 3760 OR a Type A RCD is supplied with the appliance.

Section 30 of the HSW Act legislates that risks must be minimised so far as reasonably practicable. Both test and tag, and using an RCD are, in most cases, reasonably practicable steps.

So no TnT is not compulsory - but if you opt not to use it you should consider - have you done all that is reasonably practicable WRT Section 30 of the HSW Act?

   

SteveH
Dec 04 2017 10:28

"Interesting that ESR 26 gives options to get to "electrically safe" If test tag is fitted IAW 3760 OR a Type A RCD is supplied with the appliance."

Yes for some instances, but not for employee used items. Former Govt's "silly rules team" has been influencing ES's thinking, but with regime change, that may change, meaning E(S)R 26 might be changed to read that both must be done to get to deemed safe
   

AlecK
Dec 04 2017 10:54

ES has indicated an intent to reduce status of T&T, and increase status of using RCDs. But while possible, I think it's very unlikely their "risk engine" would indicate that both RCD and T&T should be required to get to "electrically safe".

However zl2aj is correct, the approach taken in HSW Act & Regs is different, and requires us to consider the practicability of applying ANY step that might reduce either the likelihood or the outcome of a hazard.

T&T is about reducing likelihood of adverse event.
RCD is about mitigating the potential effects if it happens.
   

Marvin
Dec 04 2017 20:08

Thanks for the input Guys,

zl2aj - I agree T&T is not compulsory as shown in REG 26, I don’t think this has been in question but rather the Blanket statement that

“Test and tagging of electrical appliances and leads is NOT a legal requirement in NZ industrial plants.”

where as Reg 26 clearly shows that to be compliant with NZ law, electrical appliances not through a RCD, are required by law to be tested and tagged.

As to which is better and the pro’s and cons of T&T etc are additional to the point above.

I think AlecK and I, may actually be in agreement on this, perhaps its just the wording.

AlecK mentioned - “ If you apply another, unlisted, option, you may reach "electrically safe" but risk being found to have fallen short.” – and this is the point I make, there are no other listed options in REG 26 than the choice of the two separate options., Just as in Reg 5 where there is only electrically safe and electrically unsafe
   

AlecK
Dec 04 2017 20:35

"where as Reg 26 clearly shows that to be compliant with NZ law, electrical appliances not through a RCD, are required by law to be tested and tagged."

No, it doesn't.
What it shows is how you can cover your bum to the stage where no-one can fault you under electrical law.
That's ALL it does.

The fact that no other options are listed does NOT mean no other methods can ever get you over the line, that these are the only methods that can't be challenged.

This "deemed to comply" is a hugely important concept, and comes up throughout both ESRs and Standards. It limits the ability of officialdom to say you failed. But it doesn't restrict what you are allowed to do; and it doesn't require you to do anything.
   

Marvin
Dec 04 2017 20:52

Actually yes it does

its law to travel within the speed limit, just because its safe to travel at 30k over the speed limit in various places, does not mean it is legal
   

Narfnarf
Dec 04 2017 21:40

You should be driving to the conditions. Hitting a 100k bend at 99k with ice on the road will still get you done for dangerous operation of a vehicle if you lose positive control causing a crash.

Nowhere in the 26 does it say T&T and/or RCDs SHALL be used so it's not mandated.
   

SteveH
Dec 05 2017 08:03

15 Using works, installations, fittings, appliances, and associated equipment

(1)

A person who owns or operates works, installations, fittings, or appliances must not use, and must not allow any other person to use, the works, installations, fittings, or appliances if the works, installations, fittings, or appliances are electrically unsafe.


" must not allow any other person to use," which part of 15 isn't mandatory? where in 15 does it say "it's OK to allow the use of something that may be dodgy if RCDs are fitted?

   

AlecK
Dec 05 2017 08:38

One of the key concepts in ESRs is that there's a gap on the scale of safety between "electrically unsafe" and "electrically safe". The definitions of these terms in ESR 5 need to be taken into account.
At one end the scale goes down beyond "immediate hazard", and at the other it goes up past "electrically safe" towards no risk.

ESR 15 forbids using stuff that is "electrically unsafe". It doesn't require them to be "electrically safe"in order to be used. Nor does ESR 26, nor any other regulation.
Things only have to reach that particular level of safety when sold / supplied and when we do work on them. So they start out as "electrically safe" (no significant risk of injury/damage), and with time & use they gradually fall below that level - but we can keep using them until they down to "significant risk of serious harm" (electrically unsafe), at which point ESR 15 says we can't continue to use them; so remedial action is required.

To apply Marvin's analogy, yes there's a speed limit that we are not allowed to exceed, but no-one requires us to drive that fast - we're allowed to drive slower.
Even better, think of "electrically unsafe" as like the car being in warrantable condition. It's not allowed to be unsafe, but equally it doesn't have to be in as-new condition.




   

ShaneR
Dec 05 2017 14:09

I was going to edit via AlecK suggestions but I haven't got around to it.
https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1t43gjMTP1mwGPGbxaRPBoYV6MbP9hQnEHmk0nFkDK3A/edit?usp=sharing
   

SteveH
Dec 05 2017 20:58

"Things only have to reach that particular level of safety when sold / supplied and when we do work on them. So they start out as "electrically safe" (no significant risk of injury/damage), and with time & use they gradually fall below that level - but we can keep using them until they down to "significant risk of serious harm" (electrically unsafe), at which point ESR 15 says we can't continue to use them; so remedial action is required"

The problem for PCBUs with this view, is that frequently items are sold which are electrically unsafe from the get go, or are "repaired' and left in an unsafe condition, or are modified by users into an unsafe condition, or are damaged by use, so unless the PCBU has a system in place to detect these instances, it is my belief that they are being "reckless" about the condition of appliances in use at the installation they are responsible for.
   

AlecK
Dec 06 2017 09:07

The problem for PCBUs with this view, is that frequently items are sold which are electrically unsafe from the get go, or are "repaired' and left in an unsafe condition, or are modified by users into an unsafe condition, or are damaged by use, so unless the PCBU has a system in place to detect these instances, it is my belief that they are being "reckless" about the condition of appliances in use at the installation they are responsible fo

Yes there should be systems in place to ensure that items in service have not become electrically unsafe. But fact is the law, as expressed in Electricity Act & ESRs, doesn't require an remedial action for items that do not represent significant risk of serious harm / significant damage.
And yes the HSW Act & (various sets of) Regs also need to be considered. If a prosecution under HSW were brought, ESRs must be taken into account; and being "electrically safe" would be an absolute defence. That's the true significance of ESR 26: it can provide bullet-proof bum-cover. If you've followed what it "deems" to be electrically safe, then no-one can argue. If you've adopted an alternative that you think gets to electrically safe, that other option can be challenged.

Under previous Regs we had a similar situation for most PEW; some few clauses of AS/NZS 3000:2000 were mandatory, but most of it was "deemed to comply" with the Reg that required "electrically safe". And there are other examples within current ESRs, and within Standards - it's a widespread and fundamental concept.

Back to regulatory status of T&T. Fact is that it's a step that may be applied under HSW, and for particular circumstances it also provides an absolute bum-cover under Electrical law.
But NOTHING makes adopting T&T mandatory.
The nearest we get to that is ESR 90; where after work has been done on an appliance the appliance has to be tested i.a.w. appropriate Standard, usually "5762"; and 5762 in turn requires application of tests specified in "3760".

Because it is not mandatory, a PCBU can choose whether to adopt a T&T process. In doing so, they need to consider the competence of anyone offering such a service. In making that choice, they are entitled to consider the cost (which can be considerable), because cost is a recognised factor in practicability. And they must also consider what other steps would be reasonably practicable, either as well as T&T, or instead of it.




Right now ESR 26's bum-cover is more widely available by adopting T&T than by using RCDs, because it applies in more circumstances. ES have stated an intention to reverse that priority, so that RCD protection will be "deemed safe' in more circumstances and T&T in fewer. Though until that happens, we work with the rules as they are.

   

Andrew
Dec 06 2017 11:07

As far as the safety side of T&T goes, and especially as a corporate safety regime, I think the second T risks doing more harm than good - people see a tag so they assume it's safe and neglect to personally check the item before use. It's a bit like hi-vis vests where they had to do a safety campaign to tell people "They're hi-vis, not bulletproof."
Maybe the T&T system also need more public education campaign too.
   

Andrew
Dec 06 2017 11:11

That last line should be:
Maybe the T&T system needs a public education campaign too.
   

AlecK
Dec 06 2017 11:47

On the other hand, without tags users would have no way of telling how long since someone (supposedly) "competent" has looked at it.

T&T is often incomplete. Mostly the PCBU thinks that by paying someone to do T&T they have done everything they need to do; but there needs to be a system to match T&T records against some sort of equipment register. Which adds another layer of complexity (and cost).

With tags, a potential user gets to know that the item has been checked, and how long ago. The tag (or written inspection record) also ensures someone can be held accountable if it all goes pear-shaped. Which seems to be increasingly the basis of both HSW systems and electrical certification.


   

SteveH
Dec 06 2017 17:27

"T&T is often incomplete. Mostly the PCBU thinks that by paying someone to do T&T they have done everything they need to do; but there needs to be a system to match T&T records against some sort of equipment register. Which adds another layer of complexity (and cost)."

All reputable Test & Tag service providers will provide Asset Lists, and Detailed Test Results for it the items they test. Frequently an illegible tag on a dodgy item will be an in house DIY effort(case in point today, caddy welder fitted with a 10A plug makers label that says it requires a 15a supply and a pass tag issued by one of my clients other divisions)

Totally agree Andrew, an education program on TnT might help address some of the issues that Aleck and Peter Morfee have raised here and elsewhere. PCBUs need to appreciate that if it all goes tits up, they are responsible for insuring that anyone testing appliances is competent and suitably equipped to do so.

Some questions PCBUs could ask:
(1)What training in test & tag do you have?

(2)What equipment will you be using and when
was it's calibration last checked?

(3)On completion, what documentation will you
provide?

(4)What systems do you have in place to
ensure the quality of your service and
it's conformity to applicable Standards &
Regulations?

(5)Do you carry copies of AS/NZS3760 (& 3012
for C&D items)?

(6) If you are going to repair items, do you
have a current Practicing License?

(7) If you aren't a registered electrical
worker, how much experience do you have.
Can you show me a log book of tests that
you have completed?

(8) Do you have a H&S plan?

(9) What steps will you take to ensure your
safety, and the safety of my employees,
while you are working on my site?

(10) What exactly will this cost?
   

AngryClient
Dec 07 2017 08:52

Some good questions there but lets be honest how many PCBUs have enough knowledge and background to determine if the answers given are satisfactory or not.

Also workers not employees (unless for employment law issue)
   

Andrew
Dec 07 2017 10:52

My point was actually not that the PCBU is employing clueless people to do T&T, but that the PCBU is treating T&T as a tick-box exercise and thinks that having someone come in once a year to put new stickers on everything means nobody can get hurt. (Or perhaps just that if they are then it's not the PCBU's responsibility).

The PCBU and the workers under their care need to be told that a valid tag is not a guarantee of safety and that users must check their tagged equipment for obvious defects before use rather than just checking for a valid tag (if they even do that much). Treating a tag as a bulletproof safety measure is just as dumb as treating a high-vis vest as one.
   

SteveH
Dec 07 2017 18:07

"The PCBU and the workers under their care need to be told that a valid tag is not a guarantee of safety and that users must check their tagged equipment for obvious defects before use rather than just checking for a valid tag (if they even do that much)"

Totally agree, I advise any customer of mine that TnT is only one leg of a safety tripod, RCD's and user preuse checks are the other two.

Certainly some PCBU's do see TnT as a box tick exercise, they can be fairly quickly detected, their first question will be how much? Rather than any other question, usually followed up by "what do you mean you have to unplug things to test them, the last crowd just went round in an afternoon and TnT'd 200 things"
I avoid them like the plague