In my role at Mobile Test n Cal, I am often asked: “why do you test this equipment to such a high voltage?”. The simple answer is that International Standards ensure your safety equipment is tested to a known and proven standard.
But doesn’t it result in a higher failure rate?
Even though testing insulating gloves to the working voltage would result in fewer failures, we must test to the higher voltage to ensure we are proving that this equipment is fit for purpose. This higher test voltage also allows traceability to a known test method from a standard.
My former service provider didn’t test to higher voltages.
Other service providers may drop the test voltage for higher class PPE and equipment to reduce failure rates, even though this contradicts the standard and is not best practice. Is the cost saving of a few less failed gloves or sleeves (that clearly had underlying faults), worth compromising the safety of staff in the field?
What are my responsibilities in this area?
As an employer, you also need to consider your responsibility to your workers under the Industrial Manslaughter act. This states that a business owner or a senior officer will be criminally liable for negligently causing the death of a worker. This includes the incorrect maintenance of PPE. You can read more about your responsibilities here: http://mobiletestncal.com.au/preventing-industrial-manslaughter/
At Mobile Test n Cal, we hold the safety of our clients very highly. The only way we can give the highest level of certainty that your equipment is fit for use is to follow the methods and levels set out in an appropriate standard. We must identify and remove from service all equipment not fit for purpose, not merely pass everything presented to us, to save you money.