Test and Tag - Schedules and Records
Managing test and tag schedules and records for lots of items individually can be a drag. Especially when test and tagging is all performed at the same time. Here's a short-cut method to reduce the workload, without compromising your data-based decisions.
Managing test and tag schedules and records for lots of items individually can be a pain. Here’s a short-cut method to reduce the workload, without compromising your data-based decisions.
In Australia, most workplaces regularly conduct (or contract out) test and tagging of electrical cords and appliances. This is done to manage electrical risks in the workplace. It is not uncommon for a workplace to test and tag every single electrical item every 6-12 months (sometimes unnecessarily*). High risk workplaces like construction and mining can be required to manage test and tag schedules as frequent as every 3 months.
So how to track it all in QSToolbox?
Use the Assets module to track all of your tools, equipment, vehicles, plant, etc. The first step is simply to enter the assets into QSToolbox. This will build your assets register. If you are getting started and need to enter a lot of assets all at once, contact us about importing these records.
The next step is to set up a schedule that will let you know when each item is due for testing and tagging (or maintenance, calibration). You set the date of the first test and then set how often it needs to be repeated. Now you don’t need to remember it – just look in QSToolbox.
Each time the work is performed, you add an Asset Record and optionally upload the test and tag report. QSToolbox stores the evidence you need to prove compliance in an easy to access central location, safeguards it against loss, and facilitates internal audit.
Have a look at this worked example of how to add an asset, set up a schedule and add records.
However, if you have 50 power cords and 80 hand tools being test and tagged every 3 months, this will quickly become unwieldy.
What is the EASY way?
Why have fifty schedules when one will do? If all those hand tools get tested and tagged at the same time, you only need one schedule for all of them, not a seperate schedule for each one. But how do you link the tools and schedules and records when there’s 80 tools and only 1 schedule?
You can create a group item and a group schedule and add a group record when the test and tagging is done.
The exact approach depends on the action you’d take if an item in the group fails the test.
For lower value items that are disposed of on failure.
It is not really necessary to keep each item in the register separately. If you have 20 extension cords that are all essentially the same and are used in similar conditions – treat them as one item. Add a single Asset for the group of extension cords and set up a single schedule. Then you can ‘tick off’ all of them as having been tested with one record. Each cord is still tagged individually with the test date, which satisfies the record keeping requirement. And you’ll be able to see in QSToolbox when it is time to schedule the work and check that it has been done.
Asset Number: 5
Asset Name: Double insulated power cords in workshop
Asset Description: 20 units.
Test Tag Schedule Frequency: Every 12 months
Asset Number: 6
Asset Name: Single Insulated power cords in workshop
Asset Description: 18 units.
Test Tag Schedule Frequency: Every 6 months
Asset Number: 7
Asset Name: Extension cords in Office
Asset Description: 8 units
Test Tag Schedule Frequency: Every 5 years.
If one of the cords fails the Test and Tag, it is disposed of. To record the action taken, add an Asset Record to the schedule and update the number of units in the asset description. If you buy more cords in the same category, add an asset record to the group to note this information and update the number of units. You may want to tag each cord in the group with the shared asset number.
For items that are repaired on failure.
You will add each item individually to the Assets manager and ALSO create a group asset to manage their common schedules. In the group asset description you can link to all the assets contained in the group.
Asset Number: 79
Asset Name: Bosch Drill
Asset Number: 123
Asset Name: Makita Drill
Asset Number: 124
Asset Name: DeWalt Drill
Asset Number: 327
Asset Name: GROUP – workshop hand drills
Asset Description: Bosch Drill #79, Makita Drill #123, DeWalt Drill #124
Under the group asset, you set up a test and tag schedule for the group.
Test Tag Schedule: Every 6 months.
When the work is performed, create a record under the group schedule to show it has been done and optionally upload the report (same as before).
In this case, when an item fails you will create another Asset record under the asset with a problem, recording the details of the failure and the actions taken to remedy it. This way, you can still manage the group as a whole with fewer schedules and records to add, and also be able to view the history of a particular asset in one place.
Obviously you can (and will probably need to) create different groupings for different kinds of assets on different testing frequencies.
Depending on your work conditions it may not be necessary to test and tag every item every 12 months. The Model Code of Practice from SafeWork Australia states that “Electrical equipment used in lower-risk operating environments (e.g offices, classrooms) does not require inspection and testing or ‘tagging’.” There are requirements for protection by RCD (residual current device or safety switch). This code of practice has not been adopted by all states, so you will need to check regulations in your own state.