Calibration for Electricians: The ‘shocking’ truth

Calibration for Electricians

Electricians make use of a variety of test instruments in their work.

From voltmeters, tong meters, resistance meters, insulation resistance testers through to loop impedance testers, RCD testers, phase rotation meters, proximity testers and power quality loggers, these instruments are often essential ingredients to successful performance.

For the most part, these instruments may perform accurately, especially if they’re high quality.

But here’s the shocking truth: without regular calibration, electricians are opening themselves up to a range of serious risks they may not be thinking about.

Let’s explore them.

Equipment accuracy

The average electrician subjects their equipment to harsh conditions and rough treatment. Think: being dropped, knocked, exposure to heat, humidity, cold temperatures, hitting the walls of your vehicle, and more. Any of these can result in a variation of electronic measuring equipment readings over time.

Equipment life

The way Electricians treat their equipment isn’t just an accuracy risk, it also compromises the working life of the equipment. If equipment issues are picked up early, they can often be fixed relatively simply and affordably. However, if left too long, it risks costly component failure or board damage. Regular calibration can extend the life of test equipment, saving time and money over the long term.

Avoiding litigation

We might not think about the risk of serious injuries or death – and the litigation that could follow – during the course of our normal work day. But it’s there, lurking in the shadows, whether we like it or not.

If damage to people or property occurs and it can be shown that uncalibrated equipment was a contributing factor, insurance companies may not pay out any claims. And worse, there’s even the possibility of criminal prosecution for negligence against the responsible party. Regular calibration of equipment minimises this risk and gives you peace of mind when performing your work.

Compliance risk

A range of standards and regulations set out compliance requirements that may be relevant for Electricians. For example, ISO 9001:2015 states that equipment used for testing and measuring must be regularly calibrated to the manufacturer’s specifications, with appropriate maintenance of records. Similarly, AS/NZS3017 Electrical installations – Verification guidelines and AS/NZS3019 Electrical installations – Periodic verification provide that test instruments be regularly calibrated. Given the frequent use of testing equipment by Electricians, failure to adhere to these requirements poses a serious compliance risk.

So what’s the upshot of all these risks for Electricians?

To put it simply, it pays to calibrate your instruments regularly.

While electrical jobs may go smoothly most of the time, the risks of failing to calibrate are significant, ranging from inaccurate results and equipment damage right through to serious injury, litigation and prosecution.

What next?

If you would like to discuss your calibration requirements with us, let us know. We’d love to help.

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