Electrical safety

Electrical risks are caused directly or indirectly by electricity. The University has developed resources to assist with the management of electrical safety risks.

Frequently asked questions

Q. What equipment needs to be tested and tagged?

Not all electrical equipment needs to tested and tagged.

Equipment that is exposed to moisture, heat, vibration, mechanical, damage, corrosive chemicals or dust that are supplied by an electrical socket outlet must be tested and tagged.

Examples of equipment that need testing include:

Category of equipment Examples of equipment requiring testing
Hand held
  • Hand held power tools
  • Hairdryers
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Laboratory equipment
Portable equipment moved in operation
  • Floor polishers
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Portable lighting equipment
Electrical equipment that is moved between operations in such a manner that could damage the flexible supply lead
  • Portable electronic whiteboards, overhead projectors
  • Laptop computers
  • Electrical plant used in factory type environments
  • Welding machines
  • Extension cords
  • Power boards
Electrical equipment that is used in a higher risk operating environment where there is potential damage to the equipment or the electricity
  • Electrical equipment used in wet or dusty areas
  • Electrical equipment used outdoors, in kitchens, Laboratories (chemical damage)
  • Certain factory-type environments
Q. How do I arrange testing and tagging of my equipment?

The University has several options when it comes to electrical tag and testing:

  • At the main campus the University employs a qualified electrical tag and tester. Contact electrical-testing@uow.edu.au for more information.
  • Alternatively you can employ the services of external contractor Service FM who provide qualified electrical tag and testing for all our UOW sites.
  • Or engage another external contractor.

*Please note all associated fees/costs will be paid for by the Faculty/Division*

Q. Does new electrical equipment require testing?

No. With new electrical equipment the supplier is deemed responsible for the electrical safety of the new equipment in accordance with the principles of safe design and manufacture.

It is therefore not necessary for an employer to test new equipment before its first use, but a ‘competent person’ should still visually inspect the equipment to ensure no damage has occurred during shipment or commissioning.

Following the inspection, the UOW Electrical Safety Guidelines recommend that the new equipment that has been assessed as requiring future testing be fitted with a tag stating that the equipment is ‘new to service’, and the date of entry into service. This action sets a baseline date to work with for future electrical inspection and testing activities.

Q. Does my office equipment need or stationary equipment need to be tested and tagged?

No. Not all electrical equipment requires regular testing. In some situations electrical equipment such as desktop computers and stationary office equipment does not present a risk to their operators. Other stationary equipment may need testing depending on the environment and the risks present.
This is due to:

  • the permanent nature of their location
  • the working environment in which the equipment is used.

In cases like these, a risk assessment should be carried out in accordance with the UOW Risk Management Guidelines. Other stationary equipment may need testing depending on the environment they are in and the risks present again a risk assessment should be carried out.

Q. Can I continue to use portable fan heaters and should I get the item electrically tested/tagged?

Yes you can keep using the portable fan heaters providing they are safe. If the fan heaters are used and operated in a low risk area such as a an office environment it is recommended that a visual inspection be conducted on the unit to determine if there are any exposed wires or any other damaged components. If there are unsafe issues identified then the unit should be taken out of service and have it electrical tested and tagged and either repaired or disposed of. The purchase of new heaters should be in accordance with FMD guidelines.