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Electricity is a familiar and necessary part of everyday life, but electricity can kill or severely injure people and cause damage to property.
There are simple precautions when working with, or near electricity that can be taken to significantly reduce the risk of electrical injury to you and others around you.
This is essentially the wires, plug sockets, switch gear, fuses etc. that are fixed into the building. Employers have a duty to ensure that this is constructed and then maintained safely.
One way to ensure that the electrical installation is being maintained safely is to have Periodic Electrical Installation Inspection and Testing, this will:
The inspection frequency varies according to the type of premises, the table below is a guide.
Cinema/Leisure (Excluding Swimming Pools)
If your electrical installation becomes damaged or dangerous you will need to have it repaired before your next routine inspection.
Portable appliance testing (PAT) is the term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some types of defect can only be found by testing. However, it is essential to understand that visual examination is an essential part of the process because some types of electrical safety defect can't be detected by testing alone.
A relatively brief user check (based upon simple training and perhaps assisted by the use of a brief checklist) can be a very useful part of any electrical maintenance regime. However, more formal visual inspection and testing by a competent person may also be required at appropriate intervals, depending upon the type of equipment and the environment in which it is used.
You should draw up a schedule of maintenance that determines when you intend to test and inspect your equipment. It is not necessary to test annually. Some equipment may need testing every few months, other equipment maybe several years or even not at all!
Formal Visual Inspection
Combined Inspection and Testing
You can do your own electrical work if you are competent to do so. Simple tasks such as wiring a plug are within the grasp of many people but more complex tasks, such as modifying an electrical installation (eg creating extra sockets etc.) probably are not.
Most electrical works in a workplace will need to be undertaken by a trained or qualified electrical engineer. The National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) and the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) maintain lists of competent electrical engineers.
The downloads section offers detailed advice and guidance to help you comply with your legal obligations.
If you require help with something in this section, please contact us.