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The True Meaning of Test and Tag Colors

Technology has largely taken over every facet of life nowadays. We are for all intents and purposes handicapped without our gadgets, ranging from microwaves and toasters in our kitchens to cell phones and tablets being used intermittently all day long.

With such a large scale use of electrical equipment, it becomes necessary that safety precautions be undertaken and this is why testing and tagging of electrical equipment has gone from trivial to indispensable.

Why has testing and tagging become indispensable?

Testing and tagging all electrical appliances is a key part of a well-rounded risk management plan for business owners. It aids in the prevention of safety hazards through identification of malfunctioning electrical equipment. Furthermore, a well-embedded system centered on regular examination ensures personal and equipment safety, as well as efficient management of replacements.

As long as testing and tagging are being undertaken responsibly, any concerns can be diagnosed, resolved or removed early on. The procedure entails technical expertise for both the performance as well as evaluation of tests and therefore is performed by appropriately trained professionals, who attach colored tags to equipment as per their judgment of tests.

What are the colored “tags” applied after testing of electrical equipment?

Following the test, a colored tag is applied to the electrical equipment. The tag is applied in accordance with the judgment of professionals undertaking the test. The tagging of electrical equipment is beneficial in providing information such as:

  • When was the equipment tested or re-tested,
  • When is the equipment due for a re-test,
  • The name of the person performing the test,
  • The tag might also be color-coded to indicate the level of risk.

 

Understanding the colors involved

Pursuant to inspection and evaluation of tests, the practitioner applies a colored tag to the electrical equipment. While the tag also incorporates legible information, the color of the tag itself is a vital piece of information.

The rules governing color coding are in accordance with set government laws. In the absence of which, the colors for tagging are determined by the company providing the service. That being said, the color coding can be according to:

  • Specific time at which testing has been carried out,
  • Time intervals after which testing is being done or
  • Other system established by the test and tag technician.

Commonly used colors for test and tag are red, blue, orange, green, white, yellow and black. While different colors may be assigned, the testing and tagging usually follow a set practice to further enhance safety in the workplace.

The law in Australia and New Zealand require the colors to be utilized as tags for specific time intervals at a construction, demolition or mining site, for example:

  • Red: December, January, February
  • Green: March, April, May
  • Blue: June, July, August
  • Yellow: September, October, November

For all other workplaces, no set color tags have been decided by the government. It is important, however, that tagging follows an established color scheme, as in the case of Australia and New Zealand. This would ensure easy and quick identification of assets due for re-testing as well as equipment due for replacement, by any and all individuals, and thus help avoid confusion.

Colors of tagging may also be different for different industries and workplaces, but for a company operating, say, both a construction site/manufacturing operation, as well as a traditional office, would be better off sticking to one color scheme for both the workplaces.

Also worth noting is that while industry practices largely utilize primary colors, there’s no restriction against the use of other colors. A technician may perhaps attach burgundy, black or grey tags in accordance with the color scheme being utilized by his particular brand of employers/company.

That being said, uniformity in the tagging of electrical equipment could be the key to the better maintenance of electrical equipment and therefore, amplified protection of workforce. A key to whatever system of coding is being utilized should be readily available in the workplace.

Keep your employees and equipment out of harms’ way through the incorporation of testing and tagging of electrical equipment into the safety plan for your business. As the age-old adage goes; better safe than sorry!

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