Electrical safety and appliance refurbishment

Any new or used appliance that is sold or supplied in New Zealand must conform to the relevant legislation, which in this case is the Electrical (Safety) Regulations 2010.  Ecotech Services carries out refurbishment of appliances that have been discarded but we have difficulty obtaining these due to the way these regulations are interpreted by some individuals and organisations.

Section 80(3) of the regulations states:

A used appliance is, for the purpose of this regulation, deemed to be electrically safe if, at the time it is sold or offered for sale,—
    (a) it is tested, inspected, and tagged in accordance with AS/NZS 5761; or
    (b) it has been disabled and marked in accordance with AS/NZS 4701; or
    (c) in the case of a used electrical medical device, it is tested and marked in accordance with AS/NZ 3551.

In  practice, for discarded appliances, this usually means the power cord is cut off as per the AS/NZS 4701 standard, regardless of whether the appliance is electrically safe or not.  This makes the refurbishment process carried out by Ecotech Services uneconomic for many appliances due to the time involved in installing a new power cord to the relevant standards.

As a means by which Ecotech Services can obtain intact, discarded appliances, an adviser at WorkSafe New Zealand suggested that testing to AS/NZS 5761 be done prior to the sale or supply in order to remain within the bounds of the regulation.  There is possibly a grey area in what is defined as supply, at what point in the transportation of the items for example, but this level of detail is, according to the advice given, not something that is likely to be questioned in a court of law.  It is also not something that is seen as an issue by WorkSafe New Zealand.  This is because a distinction can be made between possession and ownership of an item.

Based on the advice given Ecotech Services can assure clients that they are able to supply untested appliances to us.  We have the appropriate staff and testing equipment to ensure legislative requirements are met.


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This is the Ecotech Services administration account. The information and opinions expressed here are those of Ecotech Services Limited.
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1 Response to Electrical safety and appliance refurbishment

  1. I have blogged about this here.

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