In order to ensure your workplace is compliant under AS/NZS 3760 and under the Work, Health & Safety Regulations SA, Regulation 165, organisations must test their RCD’s (safety switches) regularly to ensure the devices are working effectively.
Under the AS/NZS 3760 guidelines RCD testing should be carried out at necessary time intervals depending on the business environment. In many instances a push button test should be carried out every six months accompanied by a timed test every twelve months. As with electrical test and tag records are to be kept upon completing your RCD testing.
In South Australia the Work, Health & Safety Regulations SA, Regulation 165 also states “A person with Management or control of a workplace must take all reasonable steps to ensure that residual current devices used at the workplace are tested regularly by a competent person to ensure the devices are working effectively. A record of testing (other than daily) must be kept until the device is next tested or disposed of.” If an RCD is tested and found to be faulty it must be taken out of service and replaced as soon as possible.
What is an RCD and how does it work?
RCD stands for Residual Current Device (also called safety switch) and they are proven to provide a defence against electrocution and even fire caused by electrical power defects or faults. An RCD works in your electrical system by continuously monitoring the current moving within the circuit. In normal conditions the current moving inside the cables will be steady. Under a fault condition where earth leakage occurs the drop or discrepancy in current will instantly trigger the RCD and cut the electricity before any injuries or damage occur.
The table below indicates the frequency required for RCD testing in the different work environments as well as showing the testing intervals required for testing & tagging of electrical equipment.
Indicative testing and inspection intervals for electrical equipment
|Type of environment and/or equipment||Interval between inspection and tests|
|Equipment including Class I equipment, Class II equipment, cord sets, cord extension sets and EPODs||Residual current devices (RCDs)|
|Push-button test – by user||Operating time and push-button test|
|1. Factories, workshops, places of manufacture, assembly, maintenance or fabrication||6 months||Daily, or before every use, whichever is the longer||6 months||12 months||12 months|
|2. Environment where the equipment or supply flexible cord is subject to flexing in normal use OR is open to abuse OR is in a hostile environment||12 months||3 months||6 months||12 months||12 months|
|3. Environment where the equipment or supply cord is NOT subject to flexing in normal use and is NOT open to abuse and is NOT in a hostile environment||5 years||3 months||6 months||2 years||2 years|
|4. Residential type areas of: hotels, residential institutions, motels, boarding houses, halls, hostels accommodation houses, and the like||2 years||6 months||6 months||2 years||2 years|
|5. Equipment used for commercial cleaning||6 months||Daily, or before every use, whichever is the longer||N/A||6 months||N/A|
6. Hire equipment:
Test and tag
|Prior to hire||Including push-button test by hirer prior to hire||N/A||N/A|
|3 months||N/A||3 months||12 months|
|7. Repaired, services and second-hand equipment||After repair or service which could affect electrical safety, or on reintroduction to service, refer to AS/NZS 5762.|
Call BMS Electrical now on (08) 8274 0100 to organise a qualified electrician to test your RCDs.