When it comes to test and tag, Metrotest have been involved right from the beginning and creating Test and Tag labels is no exception.
That is why we thought is was time to shed some light on what you should be getting with your test and tag labels! You’re probably thinking a label is a label, what does it matter. Well you would be WRONG. Not all labels are created equal.
Think of it like this, if you are going to attach a label to a passed piece of electrical equipment, it must have certain information on the tag. Much like a warrant of fitness for a car, an electrical test and tag must state specific information.
So what are the requirements?
1) The tag must be:
- Durable – Test and tag labels must be highly tear resistant. The ink used for printing must also be resistant to fading in order to protect the information written on the label. For these reasons, we at Metrotest use tough thermal transfer labels.
- Non-Reusable – The test tag labels contain information that is specific to only one appliance for a particular period of time. This is to ensure accuracy of testing information at all times. Hence, the tag must not be reusable once removed.
- Non-Metallic – Obviously, metals are electrical conductors so the test tag labels must be non-metallic.
2) Must state a test date
This is the date of the test. It should be clearly stated as well as the retest date to ensure that the appliance is inspected within the recommended test and tag interval for its class. This must be the date the test was carried out, a test month is not suitable.
3) Must state a retest date
Test and tag intervals vary depending on the classification of the electrical appliance and the environment in which it is used. In other words, one piece of electrical equipment may need retesting sooner than another one, so the retest date must be clearly stated to ensure safe operation and compliance. Essentially, the retest date also shows the validity period of the test tag.
4) Must state the name of the company or person who carried out the testing
Since any competent person can carry out test and tag, the ‘Tested By’ field can bear either the name of the person conducting the test and/or the company they represent. If you are using custom tags, then this field can basically be your name printed or the logo of the company doing the test.
5) Must reference the AS/NZS3760
It is compulsory to have the ‘Tested to AS/NZS 3760’ label printed on the test tag, which means the testing process was compliant with the Australian and New Zealand Standards. So you might think all tags will have this printed. However, tags that were imported from overseas or are old may lack this information so it’s a good idea to check.
Here are some other vital information that may be included in the test tag labels:
- Tag Number – Either pre-printed or handwritten, the tag number helps test and tag professionals with records keeping.
- Licence/Certificate Number – This is the individual test and tag licence/certificate number of your inspector. Although it is not a requirement, it shows your test and tag technician is duly qualified and competent.
- Plant Item Number – For purposes of records keeping, this field can provide easy reference for the item’s test history. This number remains the same for the life of the appliance.
Electrical equipment that are newly purchased in New Zealand must also be tested and tagged prior to going into service. In Australia only, aside from an ocular check, they won’t need any further inspection. It is customary to put ‘New to Service’ tags on such items which indicate that they will require testing and tagging in the future.
For a ‘New to Service’ tag, the following information must be stated:
- Date of entry to service
- Date of future testing
- “This appliance has not been tested in accordance with AS/NZS 3760”
These are required for your equipment to be compliant with the standard, if you do not meet all of these requirements or the contractor you have hired to carry out your testing does not have this information on the tags, the probability is that you are getting an appliance check rather than full electrical safety testing, which is likely fraudulent, and at the least, safety is uncertain. Is an appliance check that is not compliant really worth spending your money on?
There are provisions within the AS/NZS 3760 and AS/NZS3012 to use colour coding for testing periods, this is not a requirement for New Zealand however it can be very helpful. The use of different colour labels allows for the person carrying out the testing to easily identify out of date equipment and can also be seen by other staff to help keep on top of testing if required.
Generally, electrical devices or equipment used in construction, mining and demolition sites are required to use time-specific test tag colours:
December – February
March – May
June – August
September – November
In all other industries, the use of a custom colour coding system is allowed. The most common colours used are blue, yellow, green, orange, purple, white, grey and red. We recommend using a different colour for each test and tagging period so it’s easier for you to check which items are due for testing and when.
Whether you need pre-printed tags or custom printed labels, we have the best solution for you. Call us on 0800 638 768 to discuss your test label options!