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Posted By Topic: Test N Tag - Legal requirement or not

Feb 18 2018 19:18

The energysafe website has now merged with the Worksafe website and Im now finding this info hard to find. Every testing company states that its a legal requirement, is this misleading or have the rules changed?

Feb 18 2018 19:28

Good topic here

Feb 18 2018 19:54

The way I read it, AS/NZS 3760 the test and tag standard isn\'t a legal requirement, but the regs say if an appliance is tested and passes this standard is is deemed to be \"electrically safe\", so this is a easy way to prove to worksafe that all practical steps have been take to ensure electrical safety of an appliance. You could develop your own test method that proves electrical safety, but why there is already one that ready to use and supported by the electrical regs.

Feb 18 2018 20:07

ESR15 mandates that appliances used must not be electrically unsafe.

ESR26 says that T&T of appliances achieves electrically safe.

It doesn\'t follow that the absence of T&T leads to electrically unsafe. Neither does ESR15 require appliances to be electrically safe. So there\'s a great big grey area.

The bit they might hang you with would be H&S. Have you taken all reasonable and practical steps to protect your staff from electrical hazards? T&T done properly may achieve that. RCDs on final subcircuits and periodic verfication of the installation could be at least as effective.

Feb 18 2018 21:11

Is it something to do with workplace health and safety - task analysis and SSSP?

Feb 19 2018 08:35

As always, if anyone says something is either \"a requirement\" or \"forbidden\"; ask for chapter & verse of the rule that makes it so.

In the case of T&T, there simply isn\'t any rule, anywhere in either electrical or HSW law, that makes it a legal requirement. That said, it can be made mandatory by contract (eg by a head contractor including it as a condition of contract for subbies)

Under HSW, it may be a reasonably practicable step towards maintaining a safe workplace; however it isn\'t necessarily \"all reasonably practicable steps\" so may not be enough by itself on the electrical front. Under Electrical it gets appliances used by employees to \"deemed electrically safe\" . Currently, using RCDs doesn\'t do that - but using RCDs is still a practicable step and therefore has to be included under \"all practicable steps\".

Theoretically, you could be prosecuted under H&S for not taking a step that might have reduced risk. In practice, you are unlikely to be prosecuted unless / until something happens. However Worksafe becoming more proactive, and adopting a guilty-until-proved-innocent approach to all sorts of risk factors, it would be very unwise to do nothing, and if adopting an alternative methodology against workplace risks from electrical appliances you should have your alternative method well documented and supported by evidence

Feb 22 2018 08:18

\"Managing risk
HSWA requires work-related health and safety risks to be managed. This means taking into consideration the potential for work-related health conditions (including both physical and psychological acute or long-term illnesses) and catastrophic harm, as well as the acute injuries that could occur.\"
(from briefing paper supplied to incoming Minister for Workplace Relations & Safety)

\"Under HSW, it may be a reasonably practicable step towards maintaining a safe workplace; however it isn\'t necessarily \"all reasonably practicable steps\" so may not be enough by itself on the electrical front. Under Electrical it gets appliances used by employees to \"deemed electrically safe\"\"

Totally agree with this statement, and this requires \"competent assessment and testing IAW appropriate standards and applicable regulations. Something that isn\'t covered in E(S)R\'s and is mentioned in an Appendix of AS/NZS 3760- which is largely ignored or completely unknown

\" Currently, using RCDs doesn\'t do that - but using RCDs is still a practicable step and therefore has to be included under \"all practicable steps\".\"

Would also agree that RCD\'s and an improved \"testing regime\" for them should be a feature of deemed safe under E(S)R 26.

As the Electrical (Safety) Regulations are in review,if you have an opinion on this matter, suggest you write a letter to the relevant minister and put your view forward- my company Port Appliance Test & Tag ltd is


Dec 20 2018 14:28

My apologies for resurrecting this old thread however I have been recently looking into this matter with regards to my circumstances. When looking at the matters a bit closer I came across a clause that appears to contradict the advice given in this and other related threads and for which I would be grateful to have clarified by those with greater insights in this regard.

ESR 26(2) states “A fitting or appliance described in clause (1)(a) is deemed to be electrically safe if it has a current tag issued in accordance with AS/NZS 3760”.

Note that his clause only refers to “a current tag” (not the use of an RCD) and that Clause (1)(a) relates to fittings and appliances used by employees or contractors of the owner of the fitting.

On the other hand, ESR26(3) refers to both test and tag or RCD for situations related to clause (1)(b) or (1)(c) – i.e. hirers, lessees occupiers of rentals etc.

This leads me to the conclusion that if you are a company that has equipment used by employees or contractors then only test and tag will suffice. Only if you are renting hiring or leasing then both options are applicable (or so it seems).

Any advice or insights would be gratefully appreciated


Dec 20 2018 16:42

There's a world of difference between a reg saying something is required, and one saying something is deemed / considered to achieve a desired outcome.

There is a requirement, in ESR 80, for new and used fittings & appliances to be electrically safe when sold, supplied, or offered for supply / sale.

There's also a requirement, in ESR 113, that says in-service fittings appliances are not allowed to remain in service if they become electrically unsafe.

There's a BIIIIG gap between "electrically safe" & "electrically unsafe"; which are NOT opposites but rather two points on a looong scale of safety; that has "immediate huge hazard" somewhere near the bottom and "absolutely no risk" up at the top (and well beyond what we can ever achieve in practice with electricity).

Yes ESR 26 provides a couple of ways of attaining "electrically safe", and ties them to particular circumstances. But it doesn't REQUIRE anyone to attain that status for in-service equipment. Nor does anything else.

It also does NOT say these are the ONLY methods that get us to "deemed electrically safe"; so we are free to work out our own solutions if we want to - we just may have to justify them and show how they achieve "safe". Or rather how they achieve "not electrically unsafe"; which is the level we need to meet for in-service installations, works, fittings, & appliances.

What ESR 26 does is provide a bullet-proof arse-cover. By using a methodology that is officially deemed to achieve "electrically safe" - which is well above what we need to achieve for in-service stuff - you can't be found to be 'not safe enough'.

Dec 20 2018 20:08

Hi Dufresne,the E(S)R's provide an absolute requirement on the owners of electrical installations not to be "reckless" about the safety of their installations,fittings and appliances connected to them (see ESR 15).

As has been pointed out, repeatedly, there is no absolute requirement to test and tag, a great pity because done properly, by someone who is truly competent, it's a way of identifying that an appliance has the correct voltage rating to be used in NZ, has a plug fitted that matches or exceeds the items rated power consumption and that guards/safety features fitted by the items maker are present and fully functional (in addition to the various electrical tests listed in AS/NZS 3760).

This achieves part of the "safety" tripod, throw in RCD's that are regularly tested to supply these items, and some form of "documented" user checks, and it's hard to see what more could/should be done.

But take away any of these three legs, and the system falls over. TnT is a snapshot in time that an item ticks the correct boxes. RCD's don't always operate, either at all, or fast enough, and nothing will prevent a determined user from removing guards, bypassing safety interlocks etc

Port Appliance Test & Tag