Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
These regulations apply to both fixed and portable electrical equipment. The requirement is that such systems are properly constructed, maintained and positioned so that they do not give rise to danger.
Buildings – fixed wiring installation
The entire electrical installation of any building must be tested at least every five years. This test should be carried out by a competent, qualified electrician and a certificate must be issued showing the results of the test.
Portable electrical appliances
This means any appliance fitted with a lead and plug and which can be moved from place to place.
Most faults and damage on portable appliances can be found by carrying out a visual inspection. This does not have to be done by a qualified electrician. Any sensible member of staff can do it, given enough knowledge and training. They will need to know what to look at, what to look for and what to do but, more importantly, to be able to avoid danger to themselves and others. Additional inspection and testing is required at longer intervals.
Having a routine, using the following pointers may be sufficient for the average business.
· Do switch OFF an appliance before carrying out any checks.
· Do provide sufficient socket outlets to avoid the use of adapters.
· Do provide 2, 3 or 4 block extensions rather than adapters but do NOT allow the total load to exceed 13 amps.
· Do NOT use taped joints.
· Do check that the plug is correctly wired, holds the correct size fuse and that the outer insulation of the plug is secured by the cord grip of the plug.
· Do check that there is no damage to the cable.
· Do encourage staff to report electrical equipment which is not working properly.
· Do find out how to deal with an electric shock incident.
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