gregmcc: All practicable steps, as set out in health and safety regulations, having a testing and tagging process in effect that is in line with the standard is showing steps are been taken.
As far as RCD's go is there anyway anyone (except for a suitability qualified electrician) can determine if a socket they are plugging in to is RCD protected?
A quick visit from an electrician will confirm or deny whether the building/floor/office is protected by an RCD. Retrofitting RCDs will be cheaper than 2 years of tagging (if I remember pricing correctly).
For an appliance that stays in a fixed place, lets say the office photocopier or network switch for example, the time between testing and tagging is 5 years, way cheaper than retrofitting RCD's or getting an electrician out to determine if the circuit is on a RCD.
Anyone can read a test tag and figure out if it has expired or not, and make the decision to not use the appliance if expired AND REDUCE THE RISK, can that same person figure out if the power outlet is RCD protected or not? (and by the way there are also standards on regular testing of RCD's) AND REDUCE THE RISK? - no they can't.
Most people cannot determine if an outlet is RCD protected, this is why there is testing and tagging to PROVE that at the time of testing it is safe and when it should next be tested.
It's all about risk management, do the task to the prescribed standard and the risk goes down, do it some other non compliant way and the risk goes up
Agreed. Paying someone to do testing and tagging is a risk-reduction measure, though it does not eliminate the risk. Other suitable risk-reduction measures that the person implementing is prepared to defend may be suitable as well.
I'm a DIY kinda guy. And I've learned not to accept the word of anyone in sales, including Test & Tag sales people.