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/RCBO’s (Residual Current Devices or Residual Current Breaker with Over-Current - commonly known as safety switches) regularly to ensure the devices are working effectively.

Under the AS/NZS 3760 guidelines RCD/RCBO 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/RCBO 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/RCBO is tested and found to be faulty it must be taken out of service and replaced as soon as possible.

What is an RCD/RCBO and how does it work?

services complianceRCD (Residual Current Device) or RCBO (Residual Current Breaker with Over-Current) also commonly called as safety switches, are proven to provide a defence against electrocution/electric shock and even fire caused by electrical power defects or faults. An RCD/RCBO 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/RCBO and cut the electricity before any injuries or damage occur.

The table below indicates the frequency required for RCD/RCBO 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 equipmentInterval between inspection and tests
Equipment including Class I equipment, Class II equipment, cord sets, cord extension sets and EPODsResidual current devices (RCDs/RCBOs)
Push-button test – by userOperating 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 Services now on (08) 8274 0100 to organise a qualified Electrician to test your RCD/RCBOs.

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