What You Need to Know about the RCD Testing Standard and RCD Trip Checks
An RCD—or ‘Residual Current Device’—is an essential part of your workplace electrical safety and management system. Also known as a ‘safety switch,’ an RCD is usually a fixed component located on your switchboard, though there are also portable RCDs that are used in other situations and locations. It’s essential to have an RCD trip time tester test your RCD device after a building or renovation project at your workplace. This test will ensure that the RCD can protect the safety of your employees.
What Does an RCD Do?
To understand why RCD checks are so important, it’s vital to know precisely what an RCD does and why that function is critical.
The purpose of this piece of equipment is to monitor circuits and look for disruptions to the electrical current flowing through those circuits. Disruptions of this kind can lead to electric shock or electrocution, which can cause injury or even death. When an RCD detects a disruption, it rapidly shuts off the power to that circuit, preventing an electric shock/electrocution situation.
When you bring an electrician into your workplace to perform an RCD trip test—usually as part of a broader ‘test and tag’ operation—you are essentially asking that person to verify that your RCD works. An RCD test will involve safely ‘tripping’ your RCD to see that 1) it works, and 2) it trips quickly enough to offer adequate safety protection. Tripping the RCD just means simulating the kind of electrical disruption that the RCD is intended to monitor.
In both Australia and New Zealand, there are RCD testing standards on the books that need to be met. These standards have maximum trip times that your trip tester will know about and be monitoring. If your RCD takes longer to trip than the standard requires, then it is not an adequate safety protection based on legal requirements. The faster your RCD trips, the smaller the electrical shock would be. As such, RCDs that take longer to trip—or don’t trip at all—leave your workplace and employees more vulnerable to electric shock or electrocution.
Schedule an RCD Trip Test with Hash Tag Safe Work
At Hash Tag Safe Work, we are qualified RCD trip timer testers. We can inspect your Residual Current Device and test it in a careful, safe fashion to verify whether it meets the relevant Australian standard. If your RCD fails to meet the required maximum trip time, we can provide a replacement or point you in the direction of someone who can. We also offer testing and tagging of other electrical components and appliances if you require a full test and tag service for your workplace building.
If you need an RCD check to verify your compliance with the Australian RCD testing standard, then give us a shout at Hash Tag Safe Work today. We look forward to helping you create a safer environment for your workers.