ECA backs Government plans for electrical safety in PRS

Trade body supports MHCLG move for mandated five-yearly electrical checks.
Following the Government’s response last week to a public consultation on electrical safety in the private rented sector (PRS), leading electrotechnical trade body ECA has responded to the main conclusions.

ECA Director of Technical Steve Martin commented: “ECA has long argued for regular electrical checks to take place in privately rented homes. It is vital that tenants feel safe wherever they live, and that landlords are provided with a cost-effective and practical way forward, which these proposals deliver.

“An important test will lie in the enforcement regime, and it is vital that those with oversight, such as councils, have the tools they need to ensure landlords follow the law. It is now key that the Government puts these plans into law at the nearest opportunity.”

Some of the main conclusions set out in Government’s response include:

Introducing legislation to make five-yearly electrical safety checks mandatory
Producing new guidance for landlords that demonstrates the levels of qualification and competence required to carry out electrical inspections
A commitment to ensuring the regulations are properly enforced and that there are real penalties for failing to comply
ECA Director of Employment and Skills Andrew Eldred added: The Government’s response represents a pragmatic, practicable approach that will ensure that businesses with a properly qualified and skilled workforce who follow good industry practice can deliver this vital work.

“ECA backs Government plans to provide new guidance to landlords that will put qualifications at the heart of proving the competency of those carrying out the work.”

The government’s response comes after an initial consultation was held from February to April 2018, to which ECA responded. In July 2018, Government announced that regulations would be introduced requiring private landlords to carry out electrical safety checks every five years.

The MHCLG announcement this week on electrical checks comes just weeks after the Government responded to the Hackitt Review into the Building Regulations and Fire Safety. The Government backed all of the recommendations in the Review, including the need for greater regulation, and clearer standards and guidance.

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire noted at the time: “The construction and fire safety industries are leading work to improve levels of competence – we look forward to a robust proposal that will bring coherence to the competence of all those working on buildings in scope of the new regime.”

lone working

According to online statistics website, Statista, there were 265,000 electricians working in the UK in 2017 and whilst the numbers weren’t so readily available, it would not be unreasonable to presume that many of them carry out what is referred to as “lone working” as a significant part of their daily work. This includes those employed or self-employed.

Since 2015, certain self-employed persons have been exempted from health and safety law. This is strictly limited to those whose work activities pose no potential risk of harm to others. Clearly work on electrical systems cannot be described as non-hazardous.

Lone working isn’t against the law, but it is essential that you take sensible precautions if you are going to be working alone.
Lone Working Needs Sensible Risk Assessment When deciding if it is appropriate for employees to work alone, employers need to consider if the working environment presents any significant hazard and if access presents additional risks.

Before carrying out work at someone else’s premises it is important to understand the risks inherent with the work and the location.

If they are commercial premises, there must be a record of any asbestos containing materials on the premises and workers should acquaint themselves with this before starting work.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations also require electricians to have attended formal Lone Working Needs Sensible Risk Assessment asbestos awareness training. It is important that when you chose a training provider, that they be able to demonstrate competence. AT THSP we currently have seven trainers, all approved by UKATA to deliver this training and with a passion for ensuring that operatives are no longer exposed to the life-threatening risks associated with disturbing asbestos.

Whilst an employer may have drawn up a generic risk assessment for the tasks being undertaken, it is essential that the engineer has been trained to spot any additional hazards and knows what steps to take. Some hazards can be easily addressed and controlled, however others will need to be referred to a line manager or other competent person. The Risk Assessment Builder developed by THSP is an intuitive and interactive programme allowing employers to produce site specific risk assessments in a fraction of the time it would take from scratch. Furthermore, due to the extensive data supporting the tool, users can generate over 10 million different outcomes. These assessments can be accessed online by employees along with an online briefing to demonstrate that they have received this vital information.

Current advice from HSE is that there are some high-risk activities where at least one other person may need to be present. Examples include:

Working in a confined space;
Working at or near exposed live electricity conductors; or
Health and social care work dealing with unpredictable client behavior and situations.
Risk assessments and the need to make sure they are suitable and sufficient remains a thorny issue for many employers. Some Lone Working Needs Sensible Risk Assessment companies rely heavily on libraries of generic assessments, drawn together over the years, or downloaded from remote websites or even “borrowed” from other employers. This can give “the illusion of control” and where they are clearly irrelevant, encourage employees to disregard them.

How much supervision is needed should be determined in your risk assessment, the higher the risk, the greater the level of supervision required. It should not be left to the individual lone worker to decide if they need help.

Your risk assessment should identify the possibility of an emergency arising and set out clear procedures to be followed. A first aid kit may be necessary as well as formal training.

Lastly you will need to put in place monitoring and communication arrangements. This could be:

Periodic visits by supervisors;
Regular contact by phones, radios or email;
Manually operated or automatic warning devices; and
A robust system ensuring lone workers have returned home safely.
Whatever you do, it is important to ensure that not only do lone workers have the skills, experience, knowledge and training to enable them to work safely, but that those managing them understand their responsibilities.


The 18th Edition of the BS7671 Wiring Regulations has been finalised by the IET and will be issued on 2nd July 2018. It is set to supersede the previous 17th edition on 1st January 2019 and contains multiple changes, although not all of these are pertinent to test and measurement.

RCD Protection

The 18th Edition is characterised by increased prevalence of protective RCDs in a range of installations so there will be greater need for RCD testers and MFTs with a reliable RCD testing function. In particular, <30mA RCDs will now be a requirement on sockets rated up to 32A (unless deemed unnecessary by a risk assessment) rather than just 20A (411.3.3), whilst they will also be needed on all AC final circuits supplying luminaires within residential buildings (411.3.4). It is also important to note that Table 41.1 now applies to final circuits rated up to 63A (with sockets attached) so maximum disconnection times will apply to a greater number of circuits, thus requiring accurate testing with appropriate equipment.

Switching and Isolation

The new Chapter 46 of the 18th Edition Wiring Regulations discusses non-automatic local and remote isolation and switching when these measures are used to prevent or remove dangers associated with electrical installations and equipment. It also deals with switching used to control circuits and equipment although any circuits or equipment that come under BS EN 60204 are solely covered by that standard. Further changes have been made in chapter 56 which deals with protection, isolation, switching, control and monitoring.

Earthing Systems

There are several changes to earthing systems contained within the 18th Edition. Newly introduced regulations 542.2.3 and 542.2.8 define new requirements for earth electrodes whilst two further regulations (543.3.3.101 & 543.3.3.102) cover the installation of switching devices in protective conductors. The latter section refers to protective conductors in installations supplied by multiple power sources.

Overvoltage Protection

One of the most significant changes in the 18th edition is the overhaul of Section 443 which deals with overvoltage caused by atmospheric conditions, i.e. lightning. Where the need for protection against transient overvoltage used to be defined by the AQ criteria – effectively considering the frequency and likelihood of lightning strikes – these have now been replaced by criteria considering the potential consequences of lightning strikes. This will expand the scope where protection is required, except in certain single dwelling units, and once again these additional systems will need to be thoroughly tested.

Specialist Installations

Various specialist installations have been introduced into the scope of BS7671 whilst the regulations surrounding others have been modified. Of particular note to test and measurement, there will be new requirements for electrical installations in caravan/camping facilities (Section 708); installations in caravans and motor caravans (Section 721); and electric vehicle charging points (Section 722). A particular requirement for B-type RCDs in charging points and a repeal of exemptions for PME supplies are important and may require updated equipment.

Floor and Ceiling Heating Systems

Section 753 has been revised and now deals with all embedded electrical systems for surface heating. In addition to heating, other applications such as de-icing and frost prevention are now included within the section and both indoor and outdoor systems are considered.

Stay Tuned for the Full 18th Edition

This is just a summary of some of the main changes now that the 18th Edition has been finalised. A number of modifications and introductions have been made to other chapters which will have major implications on the design and installation of electrical systems although they may not directly involve different testing practices. It is therefore vital to make sure you are up to date on requirements before the 17th Edition is formally replaced at the beginning of 2019

For more information please phone ETM on 01922 710014


Well Wishers


What a brilliant night! We were so thankful to be one of the sponsors for the evening for such a very worthwhile cause! Check out our social media/youtube accounts for more pictures.

Top Marques Insurance Remarks

What a fab photo guys! It’s all about the glam!! Thank for all of your support it was amazing, or as our company director Shan has been saying “Shamazing” & thank you for your very very kind words just as Shan finished with his thank you speach.

What an evening?

So last night we held our black tie charity dinner event at The Grand Station,Wolverhampton.The room was buzzing with excitement,laughter,entertainment and generally very high spirits and we’re overjoyed to announce we managed to raise £4,500 for Well Wishers, which we are amazed with. We would like to thank each and every person involved for their support and would welcome any feedback. We’ve had several requests to host another event which again is overwhelming, all we can say is maybe watch this space?

Tough new rules for electrical inspections

Tough new rules for electrical inspections in private rented accommodation, offering greater protection for tenants Change to ensure inspections are carried out by competent and qualified testers, keeping people safe in their homes Move part of the government’s commitment to drive up standards in the private rented sector

Renters will receive better protection thanks to new measures designed to ensure mandatory electrical inspections are carried out by competent and qualified inspectors, Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP has announced today (29 January 2019).
As part of the government’s commitment to drive up standards in the private rented sector, landlords will be legally required to ensure that the inspectors they hire to carry out safety inspections have the necessary competence and qualifications to do so – with tough financial penalties for those who fail to comply.
Ministers will also publish new guidance which sets out the minimum level of competence and qualifications necessary for those carrying out these important inspections, meaning both landlords and tenants can be assured their home is safe from electrical faults.
Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler MP said:
Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure in their own home. While measures are already in place to crack down on the small minority of landlords who rent out unsafe properties, we need to do more to protect tenants.
These new measures will reduce the risk of faulty electrical equipment, giving people peace of mind and helping to keep them safe in their homes.
It will also provide clear guidance to landlords on who they should be hiring to carry out these important electrical safety checks.
The new guidance will provide clear accountability at each stage of the inspection process – of what is required and whose responsibility it is – but without placing excessive cost and time burdens on landlords.
As well as making homes safer for tenants, improving electrical safety also benefits landlords by making a material improvement to their property and helping to prevent fires, which can cause costly and significant damage.
The measures announced today build on ongoing government action to drive up standards in the private rented sector and support people to feel safe and secure in their home – ensuring millions of hard-working tenants can live in the homes they deserve.
Ministers have also introduced tough new powers for councils to tackle the small minority of rogue landlords who rent out poor quality properties, including fines of up to £30,000 and banning orders for landlords who do not comply.
The Tenant Fees Bill, which will be implemented from 1 June, will bring an end to unnecessary, costly fees imposed by landlords or property agents – stopping tenants being charged hundreds of pounds for minor fixes to their homes and putting cash back in their pockets.
Together, these measures will help to create a housing market that works for everyone by making renting fair and more transparent for all.
Further information
The consultation Electrical safety in the private rented sector ran from 17 February to 16 April 2018 and received 582 responses from a range of organisations, including landlord associations, housing charities and local authorities, as well as individuals including electricians, landlords, tenants and fire and rescue representatives.
Following the consultation, the government announced in July that regulations would be introduced requiring private sector landlords to undertake 5 yearly safety checks of electrical installations in their properties. We intend to introduce new legislation on a phased basis, starting with new tenancies, as soon as Parliamentary time allows.
The new guidance will be broadly in line with existing regulations in Scotland, helping to ensure consistency and ease for landlords operating across the two nations.
A decision on penalties for non-compliance will be made before the secondary legislation is introduced. Penalties are likely to include a range of sanctions, with local authorities being given discretion to decide which is most appropriate in a particular case. Government will engage closely with local authorities in England when determining the penalties.
The measures announced today only cover the private rented sector. The forthcoming response to the social housing green paper consultation will cover a wide range of issues including the safety and quality of social housing.

What is the difference between a near miss and an incident?

What is the difference between a near miss and an incident?


There are two terminologies commonly used, and even though they’re related it’s important not to confuse one with each other.
• A near miss is a type of incident that could have been an accident if the parameters were changed, such as distance, people, task, or tools.
• An incident involves the injury of a person, equipment or property damage due to the failure of engineering processes, inefficiency of employee’s abilities to do the task correctly, kinetic, electrical, and weather to mention a few.
Simply put, all near misses are incidents but not all incidents are near misses

Electrical Division urges compliance with inspection rule

Electrical Division urges compliance with inspection rule
(PRESS RELEASE) – The Electrical Division within the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ports, Energy and Labour is embarking on a public education drive on the legal requirements for routine inspections of domestic and commercial electrical connections.

The Electricity Supply Act, which regulates the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity on Saint Lucia stipulates that all connections must undergo periodic inspections.

According to the law, all commercial establishments must have electrical inspections done every two years, and for domestic connections, the inspections must be done every five years. All swimming pools must undergo annual inspections.

Acting Chief Electrical Engineer Shane Jean says the authorities’ need for consumers to appreciate the law is meant to ensure public safety.

Citizens and business owners are advised that they are to hire a certified electrician as part of the procedure for applying with the Electrical Division for an inspection.
Once the facility is inspected and meets all requirements, an approval sticker is then affixed on location, indicating that it is safe and approved for an electrical connection. A certificate of approval is then issued which is collected at the Electrical Division within two business days.

For January 2019, staff of the Electrical Division conducted a total of 215 electrical inspections. This included 128 domestic, 22 commercial, 50 temporary and 15 routine inspections.

The Electrical Division within the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ports, Energy and Labour plans to hold meetings with key stakeholders including the Consumers Association, the Chamber of Commerce, Manufacturers Association and the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA), to promote greater adherence to the law.
By Ministry of Infrastructure, Ports, Energy and Labour
February 4, 2019

What items need PAT testing?

How often should pat testing be done?

Although there are no requirements for PAT testing frequency, there are recommendations: Offices, Shops and Hotels – Class 1 equipment including stationary and IT equipment should be tested every 24 months. Movable equipment such as extension leads and portable equipment should be tested every 12 months.

What items need PAT testing?
In other words, if you have an appliance that has a plug that is intended to be connected to a wall socket or generator, it qualifies as needing to be PAT tested. This can include items such as electric drills, monitors, printers, PCs, kettles and larger items like photocopiers, vending machines and others.

What does Pat Testing stand for?
Portable appliance testing (commonly known as “PAT”, “PAT Inspection” or (redundantly) as “PAT testing”) is the name of a process in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand and Australia by which electrical appliances are routinely checked for safety.

Is it a legal requirement to do pat testing?

Claims that PAT testing is required by law and that the client is breaking the law by not having it done are simply not true. The law does require however that employers, including self-employed, ensure that all electrical equipment that they provide in their business is safe and properly maintained.

What is Fixed Wiring Inspection & Testing

What is Fixed Wire Testing?

The term Fixed Wiring Inspection & Testing generally refers to the inspection & testing activity of the electrical installation within a building. Fixed Wire Testing involves testing the systems that conduct electricity around a building this being the electrical wiring and systems between the incoming electrical supply and final circuits; e.g. plug sockets, isolators, lights etc.

It would not refer to equipment which is plugged in or wired into spurred sockets or isolators. Please refer to our Fixed Equipment Testing for more information.

Electrical Fixed Wiring Inspection &Testing can also be generally referred to as; Fixed Wire Inspection, Periodic Inspection and Testing, or Electrical Installation Testing.

It is a legal requirement?

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is an act of parliament which places a duty on all employers to; ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety and welfare at work of all their employees.

Within the act there is a provision for regulations which cover the legal requirement pertaining to specific subject areas and The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 covers electrical systems within occupied premises. The regulations make reference to various standard codes of practice (ACOP), British Standards and guidance notes which have been published by bodies other than the Health and Safety Executive. These provide best practice guidance for complying with the regulations. For Fixed Wiring Inspection & Testing these include;

British Standard BS7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations, IET Wiring Regulations
IET Inspection & Testing Guidance Note 3
HSE Electricity at Work – Safe working Practices
HSE memorandum of guidance on the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 section 3a states that an employer or self-employed person is to comply with the provisions of these regulations in so far as they relate to matters which are within his/her control. It’s also worth noting that regulation 3 (2a) states that it is a duty of every employee, whilst at work, to cooperate with his/her employer so far as is necessary to enable any duty placed on an employer by the provisions of these regulations to be complied with.

The Electricity at work regulations 1989 impose duties on “employers” and “duty holders” in respect to electrical systems, electrical equipment and conductors.

The purpose of the regulations is to prevent death or personal injury to any person from electrical causes in connection with work activities.

Employers and self-employed people must comply with the provisions of the Electricity at work regulations 1989. Regulation 4 (2) states that as necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, such danger.

A duty holder can demonstrate compliance with the regulations, in respect to their electrical installation, by employing a competent company to carry out an electrical fixed wire inspection and test of their premises.

Multi-Storey Car Park Milton Keynes

Another Electrical Test Midlands Project completed and ready to handover to client.

The director of Electrical Test Midlands Richard Jones would like to say Congratulations to all the etm team for their support throughout this project.

Can Etm help with your electrical project ?

Do you want to work with a Nationwide industry accredited company?

It’s time to use (ETM) Electrical Test Midlands Ltd
Multi-Storey Car Park Milton Keynes
This project is a 52 week build which involves 160 people undertaking the construction of a new 1257 space, four level multi-storey car park in Milton Keynes which Electrical Test Midlands carried out electrical/electrical testing works.

The project required its own vehicle management strategy to minimize impact on the day to day running of the rest of the centre and S278 Highway works to form improved access, with the construction of a new carriageway and cycle path.

This state of the art car-park will constantly be updating the center management, using parking bay sensors whilst also informing users about the end time of their parking via text message