Why must I inspect, test and maintain my electrical equipment?

If you are an employer, you have a duty of care to ensure that employees and visitors to the workplace are safe from injury and risks to health. You must therefore manage any safety risks surrounding electrical hazards, in accordance with the requirements of the WH&S Act AS/NZS 3760:2010. You must apply a systematic risk management approach to eliminate or control the risk of electrical hazards. After the risk assessment, you can then implement a range of control measures including:

  • routine visual checks
  • regular inspection
  • maintenance
  • repair
  • replacement
  • use of residual current devices (RCDs)
  • and, where warranted, testing of identified electrical equipment.

Are there any special requirements for construction work?

Yes. Due to the hazardous nature of construction work regular inspection and testing of electrical equipment is warranted and must be carried out. The requirements are outlined in the WorkSafe NZ Code of Practice – Electrical practices for construction work.

Are there any special requirements for hired electrical equipment?

Yes. Electrical equipment that has been serviced or repaired which could have   affected electrical safety must be inspected,tested and tagged in accordance with the requirements of the Standard, AS/NZS 3760:2010 prior to the equipment being placed back into service.

What is a hostile working environment?

This is a working environment where the electrical equipment is normally subjected to events or operating conditions likely to result in damage to the equipment or a reduction in its expected life span. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • physical or mechanical damage
  • exposure to:
    • moisture
    • heat
    • vibration
    • corrosive chemicals
    • dust
    • fumes

What is a Portable Appliance Tester (PAT)?

A PAT is an electronic testing instrument designed to perform a range of automatic tests on plug-in type electrical equipment as outlined in AS/NZS 3760:2010.