Construction sites. Big or small, they are everywhere in New Zealand.
Construction jobs fuel our economy. It’s the countries 6th largest industry with more than 180,000 workers in the construction sector – but shockingly in 2014, there was 5 fatalities & daily serious injuries occurring on sites across New Zealand.
While there have been significant improvements made in health and safety on-site , with 2015 now closed, let’s make sure the 2016 summer season is a cause for celebration through a reduction in these unfortunate statistics*
Test and TAG – Electrical Safety On Site
On building and construction sites, the particularly hazardous combination of (often) damp conditions and electrical power cables or flexible extension cords mean thorough precautions need to be taken to ensure workers electrical safety , protecting them from electric shock, electrocution, fires or explosions.
Here’s what you need to know.
Although testing and tagging will ensure that on-site industry related equipment (https://www.complyguy.co.nz/services/test-and-tag-for-industry/) is safe and potential faults are identified, testing alone does not ensure a safe workplace.
Testing and tagging is required every 3 months. It can detect faults not apparent from a visual inspection alone, however, it is up to users to periodically check that appliances remain in good condition between tests.
Electrical Equipment Safety
- First & foremost, an ID tag should be affixed to all onsite tools and equipment labeled with the previous inspection date and the upcoming due date for inspection.
- Always follow these guidelines to minimise risk to your health and safety when using electrical equipment on site.
- Ensure that there is allowance onsite for all equipment to be stored carefully, securely and safely.
- Workers using the equipment must be trained and competent in its use.
- Have you checked it? Prior to use, ensure you make a quick inspection of the tools you’ll be using.
- Is it working? If not, take out of service NOW if there is a fault or damage.
- Is it labelled? If it is faulty or damaged ensure you label it ‘DO NOT USE’. Keep equipment clean, dry & do not misuse or drop tools to ensure they remain in good working order.
- Is it secured? If it is faulty or damaged and labelled ‘DO NOT USE’ – keep it secure until the equipment can be examined by a competent person ( Comply Guys or other specialists).
- Is it appropriate? Sometimes the working environment is unsuitable or higher risk if using electrical tools. An air, hydraulic or hand powered tool may be more appropriate.
- Is it a flammable or explosive atmosphere? The tools you use should be designed to prevent them from causing ignition.
- Is it unplugged and switched off? Before cleaning or making adjustments, ensure the equipment is not live.
- Is it safety enabled? Your power tools should have a safety switch ensuring the motor is only activated when held in the “on position” by the operator.
And finally, if you are a tradesman taking your cords, appliances or equipment from your workshop to a construction or demolition site you must comply with AS/NZS 3012 (be electrically safe) Your equipment must be tested for electrical safety prior to use. A tag needs to be applied and records maintained of the testing. But a plumber, or another tradesman, may take their electrical tools and equipment from one construction or demolition site to another without the need for additional testing beyond the 3 monthly tests.
Have a safe & secure summer season. If you would like to know more about testing, tagging and safety on-site get in contact with the Comply Guys. We’d love to help – you can also give us a call anytime, without obligation. To contact us via email click here or you can call us on 0800 669 999 0r 021 244 8188.
*Statistics NZ Household Labour Force Survey: December 2010 Quarter