Electrical Safety Testing and Product Recalls
As a business in Australia you have a duty of care and responsibility. This is to yourself, your customers and your staff to ensure that any electrical equipment used complies with safety standards. Here is all the information you need to know about Electrical Safety Testing and Product Recalls.
According to reports from the ACCC the overall average return rate of recalled goods is 56.75 per cent. However, the ACCC quoted that the average return rates vary markedly from ’80 per cent to 36 per cent’. Furthermore, that this is between different types of goods overseen by the different Commonwealth regulators. This difference can be attributed to a variety of factors such as:
- the type of product being recalled
- the communication methods used
- the hazard posed by the product
- the level of intervention by regulators
The review also found:
‘that some regulators encouraged industry to voluntarily address unsafe products and only intervened in the recall process if industry failed to adequately mitigate the risks, whereas others were more involved and actively managed the process from the outset. Analysis showed that the recall was more effective when the regulator actively managed and had a greater level of involvement in all aspects of the recall process.’
According to the ACCC report ‘the analysis of recall data also found that measuring recall effectiveness only by the percentage of product returned does not provide a complete picture. Factors such as the communication method used to advertise the recall, the type of product being recalled and the hazard posed by the product are also relevant considerations in evaluating recall effectiveness’.
Most consumers will not notice a product recall unless there is a well publicised injury or health issue.
There are also murmurs in the media that some of the goods coming into Australia do not comply to our industry standards. These can sometimes be the cause of electric safety issues. There are of course plenty of good quality products coming onto our shores but there are also some which may have slightly more questionable safety standards.
The ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard says ‘recalls have been trending up every year for the last five years. More and more, we are seeing suppliers seeking to keep costs down, sourcing from overseas countries without having direct oversight of every step of the supply chain’.
It is also reported that electrical products had the 3rd highest recall rate.
Ms Rickard stated that the most concerning finding from the ACCC’s study was consumer perception of perception of risk and hazard. In other words ‘it won’t happen to me’.
‘We will work with suppliers to do everything that is needed, but there is no guarantee that every good is safe,’ Ms Rickard said.
Due to the low return rates of faulty products there is a higher risk of electric shock or electrical fire. These type of products and appliances present a serious risk to any business.
Anyone remember when Samsung announced in 2013 a recall of faulty top-loader washing machines that had the potential to spark fires? Since then 80% of these machines were repaired, refunded or replaced – which is great but that still means that 20% of those machines could still be out there presenting a fire risk.
Safe Work NSW states that certain types of electrical equipment must be regularly inspected and tested by a competent person to identify damage, wear and detect electrical faults.
They state that if you are a business or employer you must make sure that electrical equipment is regularly inspected and tested by a competent person if the electrical equipment:
- is supplied with electricity through an electrical socket outlet (‘plug in’ equipment)
- equipment used in an environment in which its normal use exposes the equipment to operating conditions that are likely to result in damage to the equipment or a reduction in its expected life span, eg conditions such as exposure to moisture, heat, vibration, mechanical damage, corrosive chemicals or dust.
A competent person must complete all testing. A competent person is classified as someone who has acquired – through training, qualification or experience – the knowledge and skills to carry out inspections and testing of electrical equipment.
The relevant Australian standards are:
- AS/NZS 3760: 2010 – In service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment, outlines inspection, testing and tagging methods
Regular testing required
Safe Work NSW states that the frequency of inspection and testing will vary depending on the nature of the workplace. And furthermore the risks associated with the electrical equipment. See all our testing frequencies here.
Record of testing results
A record of testing must be kept until the electrical equipment is next tested, permanently removed from the workplace or disposed of. A record of testing must specify:
- the name of the person who carried out the testing
- the date of the testing
- the outcome of the testing
- the date on which the next testing must be carried out.
The record may be in the form of a tag attached to the electrical equipment tested.
Here at Spark Safety Solutions we can test all your equipment on a regular basis to ensure each piece meets current standards.
These tests will pick up any faults within any of your equipment. You will then be given a full report so you can then take independent action to fix these faults. This will ensure the safety of your staff, customers and assets.
Our passion is to ensure the safety of your team, your premises and ultimately your livelihood. Furthermore, this is integrated with a preventive maintenance service you can rely on.
These electrical safety testing service gives you the ultimate insight into the electrical health of your equipment. And also arms you with the intelligence you need to maintain your business in the safest possible manner. All the while avoiding interruptions and damage to your business from the minor to the catastrophic.
Don’t run the risk of missing a recall announcement and having a dangerous piece of equipment in your business.
Discover exactly how we can help with your regular test and tagging requirements here. With our simple pricing and 24 hour reporting
In conclusion, the other important benefits of appliance testing include:
- A safe working environment for your employees and visitors
- Reduced insurance premiums
- Reduced exposure to liability