RCD Safety Switches, available from Assured Asset Testing , have been responsible for preventing a 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 RCDs, when it is needed the most.
The Australian Standards 3760 In-service safety inspection testing and tagging of electrical equipment outlines 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 cannot stress how important this seemingly small, but mostly forgotten task is. Assured Asset Testing says that it has found a lot of RCDs on switchboards that jam in the ‘On’ position when load tested.
The most common ones though are tradesman’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.
The only cost of these push button tests is a few moments of the operator’s time. It could mean all the difference.