Electrical safety

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electrical testing

The laws which relate to electrical safety
are detailed in the Electricity at Work
Regulations 1989 and Electrical
Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
which require assessment of risks related
to electricity.

YOUR LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES

Systems that are installed in buildings
must be safe and regularly maintained.
Electrical installations and repairs to
electrical equipment must be performed
by a qualified electrician.
People working with electrical systems
and equipment should be competent for
the task, meaning that they have
suitable training and knowledge to
ensure that injuries to themselves and
others are prevented.
You should ensure regular testing of all
electrical equipment to prevent the risk
of electrocution or fire.
You should ensure that adaptors do not
overload socket outlets.
People working in the space that you are
managing must be educated about the
proper use of electrical appliances and
be made aware of the dangers and risks
of unsafe operation of appliances.
Documented procedures are vital to
promote safer working conditions and
more responsible use of electrical
equipment.
You should regularly check all electrical
equipment for signs of wear and tear,
damage and faults.

HOW TO DECREASE ELECTRICAL
SAFETY RISKS
You should perform and record tests of
electrical installation, distribution, cables
and circuits every 5 years.
You should perform risk assessments of
High Voltage Power Equipment on an
annual basis.
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) should
be conducted every 1-3 years.
PAT AND FIXED WIRE TESTING
Under the Electricity at Work Regulations
1989, electrical fixed installations must be
tested and inspected regularly. PAT
stands for Portable Appliance Testing
and is designed to test the safety of
electrical equipment using a special
device. However, PAT includes visual
inspection to flag up any issues that
might not be detected by the PAT
device.
The frequency of tests should be
determined by the frequency of use and
the environment for use. There is no legal
requirement to do so, but recording the
PAT times and dates as well as labelling
items that have passed is best practice.
Fixed Wire testing involves checking the
electrical systems that are designed to
conduct electricity around a building,
which includes hard wiring, main panels,
distribution boards, lighting, air
conditioning, fixed plant and socket
outlets. This is required by the Electricity at
Work Act 1989. Tests should be
conducted at least every 5 years.

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