Recent changes to AS/NZ Electrical Standards has brought debate about how much data you need to retain, when ensuring your cables and equipment are safe for use in the workplace.
One company which is leading the way in simplifying the retention of your data efficiently is PATorganiser. Since being founded in Melbourne in 2010 by electrician Chris Iles and self-confessed IT geek Chris Hordern, PATorganiser has grown from its humble beginnings as a better way to manage the test and tag side of a services-based business, to a bona fide and scalable cloud-based test and tag data management platform. PATorganiser now helps over 250 businesses across Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the UK maintain safe worksites for their staff. Our cloud-based platform serves as a simple but effective means to manage your pre and post-testing requirements, from storing the data in a secure environment, to running reports and notifying testing staff about upcoming or overdue tests.
Based on our experience of dealing with numerous businesses, portable asset testing has proven to be a polarising topic in the safety, auditing and compliance space. Depending on who you talk to about testing and tagging, and the all-important test data that it yields, you get varying answers from different companies, which generally reflects how much it is valued by these organisations. On one hand you have the companies that place little or no value on testing and tagging and will openly tell you that they don’t value it because the external compliance requirements surrounding this facet of worksite safety is poorly policed by the relevant authorities and the likelihood of an accident occurring to a staff member as a result of poor test and tag data management is low.
On this basis companies pay scant attention to the AS/NZS 3760: 2022 standard that provides important way points for the industry when it comes to in-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment. On the flip side to that conversation, however, is the response from companies that place immense value on testing and tagging and see it as another means to keep their worksites, and thereby their staff, safe. The approach taken by these safety-conscious businesses dovetails well with a Safe Work Australia report that indicates the average workplace accident cost to a business is $13,000, not to mention the hard-to-measure impact of staff wellness and productivity deficits that workplace accidents bring.
By taking a proactive approach to this medium of electrical safety, which the reports imply is a must in order to provide safe workplaces, businesses can positively lower the risk to staff and concurrently maintain adherence to self-imposed compliance and audit milestones. At PATorganiser, we love dealing with both types of companies – no matter their view on test and tag data management. Through our consultative approach and years of experience in assisting businesses we help safety-minded professionals to identify both a). deficits in their current process and b). tangible steps that allow them to introduce efficiencies to safety plans.
Fundamentally, our purpose has been to provide an effective data management tool that is suitable for both large enterprise customers including blue-chip car part manufacturing companies, electricity providers and multinational mining organisations, through to single-user test and tag service providers. The uniqueness of PATorganiser is such that there is no other platform that exists in the cloud that provides an agnostic conduit to most physical testing devices and democratises the data in such a way that health and safety executives and clients can easily access the data to gauge where they stand in relation to site safety. Because we are cloud-based we are interminably scalable, but perhaps most importantly, we can react to businesses who have different requirements and provide variations on our out-of-the-box solution.
To reiterate the above point about being an agile and flexible company, a state-owned electricity supplier approached us asking to build some features into PATorganiser. They liked elements of the platform, but they needed a much more holistic tool for their safety management needs, particularly when it came to tracking non-electrical portable assets like ladders, helmets and slings. This genre of manual portable assets was important to their business operations, but it wasn’t a core feature of PATorganiser when it came to testing. By the end of the consulting process, we were able to develop PATorganiser into a more well-rounded tool that suited their needs better and added value to their existing processes. The modifications resulted in us developing the capacity to add manual assets, develop a proprietary QR coding system that amplified the key asset register elements the company wanted, and build out our decommissioning and end of life features that meant the business could track its retired fleet. Most importantly however, when a hose crimp within the customer’s network malfunctioned, and subsequently made that worksite unsafe, they were able to expediently search PATorganiser for the locations of the other hoses at risk of crimping, and check the status of the remaining assets, thereby potentially avoiding workplace accidents.
At its core, testing and tagging is a small element of an organisation’s safety plan but, in a similar role that compliant scaffolding and fire extinguishers play, in keeping worksites safe, it has a significant impact on employee safety. While you could foreseeably run your business without PATorganiser and stick with the status quo, inherently, we make storing and managing data in the cloud a succinct and automated process – freeing you up to focus on other important aspects of your business.