RCD Safety Switches have been responsible for preventing a great number of deaths in Australian workplaces and homes.
While having RCD Safety Switches in place is by no means a guarantee of preventing an electric shock, there are some measures that when put in place, will largely increase the operational efficiency of RCD Safety Switches when it is needed the most.
The Australian Standards 3760 In-service safety inspection testing and tagging of electrical equipment outline regular testing procedures and intervals necessary for maintaining the fast and safe operation of RCDs.
A millisecond trip-time test is regularly performed on each RCD to ensure that the power is quickly cut off within the vital time in the event of someone receiving a shock. If the RCD fails or takes too long to trip the power off, the consequences could be fatal.
The standards also outline regular push button tests that need to be performed by the user in between the trip-time test intervals. This also assists in making sure that grime, dust or sand is not given a chance to pile up and affect the mechanical operation of the RCD.
Assured Asset Testing has stressed on the importance of this seemingly small but mostly forgotten task.
Assured Asset Testing has that found a lot of RCDs on switchboards jam in the 'on' position when load tested. The common ones are tradesmen’s RCD power boards. They often get dragged through sand and dirt on building sites and need to be push-button tested before each use.