Electrical appliances in the workplace are dangerous and can result in a variety of injuries including burns, shock and even death. Fires and explosions can also occur as a result of unsafe or faulty equipment that is situated in a flammable environment and which has not had a recent elctrical safety check.
The Health and Safety Executive has set out guidelines concerning electrical safety, which should be looked at before starting an electrical safety check at your workplace.
One requirement of the Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989 is that all electrical equipment should be maintained in order to prevent danger. An electrical safety check should be undertaken dependent on the level of risk posed by the electrical equipment.
A system of maintenance, as set out by the HSE for an electrical safety check, is:
- User checks on equipment, such as checking for hazards or signs of damage.
- Inspection by someone with more knowledge, for example, an electrical safety check inside the plug for damage.
- A Portable Appliance (PAT) test to be carried out where necessary by someone who has the expertise to carry out a test and interpret the results.
Therefore as an employer or employee you can carry out an electrical safety check on appliances in the form of risk assessments and visual checks.
This would be to check for damage or hazards surrounding the equipment, such as checking that electrical equipment is not in a wet or damp environment; not overloaded or showing signs of overheating, and is not in an environment where electricity could be a source of ignition for an explosion.
However, checks that require more expertise would have to be carried out by someone with more electrical knowledge, in order to protect you and other workers from having an electrical injury at work.
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Date Published: December 9, 2013
Author: David Brown