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?
RCD (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 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/RCBOs)|
|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 Services now on (08) 8274 0100 to organise a qualified Electrician to test your RCD/RCBOs.