Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760: 2010 is the relevant standard for the safety inspection and testing of electrical appliances. For the construction industry, AS/NZS 3012:2010 is the primary standard, and should be read in conjunction with AS/NZS 3760:2010. The VWA are keen to see Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760:2003 applied in Victorian workplaces. For every workplaces to fulfill its duty of care obligations under the Victorian OHS Act 1985 to provide a safe and healthy workplace the requirements of AS 3760:2003 should, as a matter of best practice, be implemented. The Standard specifies procedures for the safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment. This applies to:
- Portable, hand held and stationary appliances, designed for connection to the low voltage (240v) supply by a flexible cord (including the cord). This includes for example, portable power tools, machine tools that are not hard wired, soldering irons, welding machines, CD players, computers and other office equipment, sewing machines, kitchen appliances such as fridges, microwaves, ovens etc. This also includes items brought to work by staff for use in the workplace, such as toasters, irons, fan heaters, fans etc.
- Extension leads and power boards.
- Residual Current Devices (RCDs) of all types. An RCD (also known as safety switch) is a mechanical switch device designed to make, carry or break currents under normal service conditions. It opens the contacts when the residual current rises too high.
- Portable electrical equipment that is moved while in operation, eg. floor polishers, vacuum cleaners, etc.
- Electrical equipment that is moved between operations in such a manner that could damage the flexible supply lead, eg. overhead projectors, laptop computers, power boards, woodwork/hand tools, drills, etc. (Information from Noel Arnold & Assoc)
- Over recent months, the fire brigade has experienced an increase in the number of fires caused by electrical power boards. The origin of these fires has been identified as the misuse of electrical power boards.