How often must welding equipment be tested?
The professional associations and the legislator require all tradesmen, regardless of their field of activity, to take care of the electrical safety of their business, otherwise this is considered a negligent and intentional act. The safety inspection of welding equipment is regulated by the accident prevention regulation BGV A3.
Many reasons for regular inspection
Non-compliance with the law can result in fines, managers can be held personally liable, insurance companies can refuse protection and in the event of personal injury, the entire welding plant is shut down. Fire insurance policies exclude liability if, for example, the respective business premises are destroyed by a fire caused by a non-tested device.
Perfect condition guarantees safety
In the event of damage, the owner must prove to the insurer and the employers’ liability insurance association that the device is in perfect condition in accordance with VDE, as otherwise liability is excluded if persons are permanently injured by an untested device.
In order to meet the legal requirements for the safety of a company, a professional inspection frees the operator of a welding system from legal risks. In addition, consequential damage can be detected in advance by an inspection of the welding equipment and fewer unexpected repairs reduce costs in the long run.
The costs of an audit are often much lower than those incurred for liability in the event of damage. Regular testing ensures that the function and value of the welding equipment and systems is maintained. In order to ensure that welding equipment works intact and thus the strict safety regulations are observed, the equipment must be inspected regularly.
It should be noted that welding equipment is often incorrectly or inadequately tested during a repeat test, because the electrical repeat test of welding power sources is not to be carried out in accordance with VDE 0701-0702, but in accordance with the VDE 0544-4 standard.
The legal basis for the periodic inspection of welding equipment consists of
- the Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV for short)the Technical Rules for Industrial Safety and Health (TRBS) 1203 “Qualified Persons” the Employer’s Liability Insurance Association Regulation (BGV) A3 “Electrical Installations and Equipment” and the Employer’s Liability Insurance Association Regulation (BGR) 500 “Welding, Cutting and Allied Processes “the Employer’s Liability Insurance Association Information (BGI) 553 “Arc Welders” and the regular testing of electrical equipment
BGR 500 states that when calculating the test periods for non-stationary welding equipment, it must be taken into account that hose packages, welding cables, plug connectors, stick electrode holders and arc torches are subject to high stress, plug connectors and mains connection cables may be damaged by vagrant welding currents and
The following inspection intervals are recommended for welding equipment:
- The quarterly inspectionThe quarterly inspection involves a visual inspection of the proper condition, a functional test of the safety equipment and a test of the effectiveness of the protective measures against dangerous body currents The annual inspectionThe annually recommended inspection involves a visual inspection of the open plug connections, the insulation test of the input and output circuit against the body, and both circuits against each other after internal cleaning of the welding power source. The following parameters should be assessed during a repeat electrical test of welding equipment: Various insulation resistances, the protective conductor resistance, the probe current of the conductive and touchable parts, the probe current of the welding current outputs, the no-load voltages for direct and/or alternating current and the differential current.When testing the welding equipment, all measurements must be recorded, and the test is documented with a test report and a test badge.