Technicians from Sydney Electrical Appliance Testing attended a Test and Tag seminar, hosted by the Australian Lighting Industry Association (ALIA) at Entech (Australia’s Entertainment Technology Trade Show) in February 2008.
Test and Tag operations managers Andrew and James attended the Test and Tag conference to listen to lighting industry feedback and questions on test and tag methods and practices.
Speakers at the seminar included Ian Low from Workcover NSW, Darren Irving from Bytecraft Entertainment, Jim Keating from Panalux Lighting (formerly Panavision Lighting), and Andy Ciddor from ALIA.
Ian Low from Workcover addressed issues such as test and tag legislation and standards which apply in NSW, with a particular focus on testing and tagging in relation to lighting equipment hire.
Darren Irving and Jim Keating described their respective companies’ methods of testing and tagging and the necessary record keeping. Panalux use a method of testing in which every item in their inventory is barcoded, inspected and tested, but not tagged.
Instead, hirers are given a printed electrical safety compliance report, which lists every item included in the hire, and shows when it was last tested and tagged.
Mr Irving described some specialised Portable Appliance Testing equipment that Bytecraft has had made.
This special PAT equipment allows the quick and easy testing and tagging of looms, Weilands and other multicore cables, including Extra Low Voltage cables such as DMX512 cables.
The overall message from large-scale lighting equipment hire companies was that test and tag has been thoroughly adopted, and forms an integral part of post-hire equipment inspection, testing and maintenance. It is also helpful in maintaining accurate an asset database.
It was also noted by attendees of the seminar that all electrical appliances that are used in hostile environments such as theatre, film, TV or events need to be regularly tested and tagged, regardless of whether or not RCDs are in use on all electrical circuits.
RCDs and ELCBs do not protect against all appliance electrical fault situations and thus electrical safety test and tag, and the use of RCDs should be used together, to minimise the risk of electric shock to workers.
Sydney Electrical Appliance Testing specialises in Test and Tag services and equipment for the entertainment industries.