What are my legal responsibilities when it comes to electrical appliances?

There is no doubt that employers have a moral responsibility to ensure that they provide a safe working environment for staff, clients and anyone else visiting their organisation. When it comes to electrical safety there are also important legal responsibilities that need to be protected and maintained.

One area of legal responsibility that affects all people working across an organisation concerns the use of portable electrical appliances.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (rev. 2004) states that:

‘if you are an employer, self-employed person, an employee, or any person lending a portable appliance to another person, that you have a duty of care under common law, and the OH&S Act, to ensure that the equipment/appliance is safe.

You are required by law to ensure your portable appliances are electrically safe.

Australian Standard AS/NZ3760, is used by Worksafe Victoria as a minimum safety obligation for workplaces to adhere to.’

The best way to ensure the Australian Standard is maintained is to organise for appliance testing and tagging by qualified electricians. Not only will this keep yourself and your employees safe from harm, it will also ensure everyone’s legal responsibilities are protected.

So what does appliance testing involve?

Appliance testing uses several different methods including a visual inspection, an earth continuity test and an insulation test. These tests should be carried out under the recommended periodic frequency set out by the Australian Standard. Depending on your environment and/or equipment being tested this can range from three monthly, six monthly, yearly and five yearly periods.

To find out more about appliance testing for your organisation please feel free to contact us.