Ensuring the safety and reliability of electrical equipment by a professional commercial electrical company is essential for businesses in Australia. Regular electrical inspections are not only important for compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994, but they also help to maintain a safe workplace for employees, visitors, and contractors.
In this article, we’ll talk about when and why you need an electrical inspection. Don’t wait until it’s too late – safeguard your employees, visitors, and assets with our professional and reliable services. Contact WACOMM today to schedule a consultation and experience the difference a trusted electrical partner can make for your business.
What is an electrical inspection?
An electrical inspection is a systematic examination and evaluation of electrical systems, equipment, and components in a building or facility to ensure they are functioning properly, safely, and in compliance with relevant codes, standards, and regulations. The main objective of an electrical inspection is to identify any potential hazards, defects, or issues that may pose a risk to people, property, or the environment.
During an electrical inspection, a qualified and licensed electrician or inspector checks various aspects of the electrical system, including:
- Wiring and connections: The inspector examines the wiring system to ensure it is properly installed, grounded, and in good condition. They also check for any signs of wear, damage, or improper connections that could pose a risk of electrical shock or fire.
- Circuit breakers and fuses: The circuit breakers or fuses are evaluated to ensure they are correctly sized and functioning properly, providing the necessary protection against overcurrent and short circuits.
- Outlets and switches: The inspector checks the condition and functionality of outlets and switches, verifying proper grounding and ensuring they are correctly installed and free from any defects.
- Lighting fixtures: Lighting fixtures are examined to ensure they are securely mounted, properly connected, and functioning as intended.
- Electrical panels and distribution boards: The electrical panel or distribution board is assessed for proper labelling, grounding, and installation, ensuring it can safely handle the electrical load of the building or facility.
- Appliances and equipment: The inspector reviews the electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are in proper working order, adequately maintained, and free from any hazards.
- Compliance with codes and regulations: It’s verified that the electrical system adheres to applicable local, state, and national electrical codes, as well as any industry-specific standards or guidelines.
What are the signs an electrical inspection needs to be carried out?
There are several signs that indicate an electrical inspection should be carried out to maintain a safe and functional environment. Some of these signs include:
- Frequent electrical issues: Constantly tripping circuit breakers, blown fuses, or flickering lights may indicate underlying electrical problems that require inspection and repair.
- Outdated electrical system: If your electrical system hasn’t been updated for several years or doesn’t meet current safety standards, it’s a good idea to schedule an inspection to identify any potential hazards or areas that need improvement.
- Ageing property: Older buildings are more likely to have outdated or deteriorated electrical systems that may pose risks. An electrical inspection can help identify any issues and ensure the system is up-to-date and safe.
- Unusual odours or sounds: A burning smell, buzzing sounds, or sizzling noises coming from outlets, switches, or electrical panels may indicate issues that require immediate attention.
- Discoloured, warm, or sparking outlets: If you notice discoloured, warm, or sparking outlets or switches, it may be a sign of faulty wiring or other electrical issues that need to be inspected and repaired.
- Frequent power surges: If your property experiences frequent power surges or voltage fluctuations, it may indicate a problem with your electrical system that should be addressed by an inspection.
- Rodent or pest infestation: Pests can cause damage to electrical wiring and components, which can lead to safety hazards. If you suspect a pest infestation, it’s essential to have your electrical system inspected and any damage repaired.
- Recent flooding or water damage: Water and electricity don’t mix. If your property has experienced flooding or water damage, it’s crucial to have your electrical system inspected to ensure its safety and functionality.
- Upcoming property sale or major renovation: If you plan to sell your property or undertake significant renovations, an electrical inspection can identify any issues that need to be addressed and ensure your electrical system is safe and compliant with current standards.
- It’s been a while since the last inspection: Regular electrical inspections are essential to maintain a safe and functional environment. If it has been an extended period since your last inspection, it’s a good idea to schedule one to ensure everything is in proper working order.
What can happen if electrical inspections aren’t carried out?
If electrical inspections aren’t carried out regularly, several consequences can arise, posing risks to people, property, and businesses. Some of the potential outcomes include:
- Electrical shocks and electrocution: Damaged or improperly installed electrical systems can lead to electrical shocks, which can cause severe injuries or even fatalities.
- Electrical fires: Overloaded circuits, faulty wiring, or damaged electrical components can result in electrical fires, leading to significant property damage, injuries, or loss of life.
- Equipment failure and damage: Undetected electrical issues can cause appliances and equipment to malfunction or become damaged, which can disrupt business operations and result in costly repairs or replacements.
- Increased operational costs: Unaddressed electrical problems can cause inefficiencies in energy consumption, leading to higher bills.
- Legal liabilities: Businesses and property owners are required to adhere to local, state, and national electrical codes and regulations. Failure to conduct regular electrical inspections can result in non-compliance, fines, or legal actions.
- Voided warranties and insurance claims: Some warranties and insurance policies may require regular electrical inspections. Failure to conduct these inspections can void warranties and make it difficult to file insurance claims in case of accidents or damages.
- Reduced workplace safety: An unsafe electrical environment can lead to accidents, impacting employee morale and productivity, and may result in increased workers’ compensation claims and higher insurance premiums.
What is an electrical test and tag?
Electrical test and tag is a crucial process that checks the safety of portable electrical appliances in your workplace. It consists of a visual inspection to identify any visible physical damage, followed by electrical tests carried out with a portable appliance tester. After passing the tests, a tag is affixed to the appliance, indicating the test date, tester, and the appliance’s next due date for testing.
Why do I need an electrical test and tag?
In Australia, it is an employer’s obligation to maintain a ‘Safe System of Work’ according to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations. Adhering to a Test and Tag regime in compliance with the AS/NZS 3760:2010 standard is a crucial measure for ensuring a hazard-free workplace.
This process not only helps maintain the safety of your employees, visitors, and contractors but also assists in managing your electrical assets efficiently. Upon completion of each testing period, you will receive a comprehensive test report, enabling you to keep track of your electrical equipment’s safety and performance.
How often should I test and tag?
Testing intervals depend on the type of environment and how often the appliance is handled. Appliances in hostile environments require more frequent testing than those rarely handled. To determine the best testing regime for your workplace, arrange an onsite meeting with WACOMM’s qualified staff to create a customised plan.
WACOMM’s test and tag services
WACOMM is your one-stop shop for electrical test and tagging, offering comprehensive services that protect your business without the hassle of dealing with multiple companies. After completing the testing, you will receive a full report, advice from a qualified technician, a certificate of compliance, and a reminder when your next service is due.
The testing and tagging process
WACOMM technicians follow a thorough process to guarantee the safety and longevity of your electrical appliances:
- Visual Inspection: Technicians ensure your appliances are free of visual defects.
- Electrical testing: Using a portable appliance tester (PAT), technicians check ground maintenance, wire polarity, and insulation resistance.
- Reporting: After testing and tagging, a detailed report is provided, including the performance of each device and whether it passed or failed.
Common devices tested and tagged include: computers, printers, monitors, scanners, televisions, floor cleaners, extension cords, power boards, power tools, modems, copiers, fax machines, radios, air conditioning, refrigerators, hand dryers, washing machines, CD players, battery chargers, phone chargers, table lamps, vacuum cleaners, heaters, portable spotlights, jugs and kettles, toasters, and more.
Regular electrical inspections are crucial to ensure a safe workplace for your commercial business in Australia. Don’t leave the safety and compliance of your commercial business in Australia to chance. Trust WACOMM’s expertise and experience in providing top-notch electrical testing and tagging services that ensure a secure working environment for your employees and visitors.
Invest in the well-being of your business and those who rely on it by partnering with WACOMM, one of the most trusted commercial electrical companies Perth. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation and discover how our tailored solutions can help you maintain a safe and compliant workplace.