Employers must ensure that with regard to all fixed electrical installations and to all portable electrical equipment there is in place a safe system of work that ensures: -
- Compliance with relevant legislation
- All fixed installations are safe and tested
- All electrical appliances and cables are tested and maintained
- Only safe equipment is used.
- This system applies to all places of work
- There are no voltage restrictions
- Legislation places absolute duties on employers, employees and the self employed
to comply with all matters regarding electrical safety that are within their control.
- Any installation, use and maintenance of equipment must reflect specific safety requirements with regard to adverse conditions i.e. weather effects, exposure to corrosive or flammable environments, operation in a dusty atmosphere.
- Connections should always be suitable for the purpose for which they are being used and the use of electrical tape alone for connections is forbidden.
- It must be ensured that any protection for electrical installations and equipment e.g. fuses and residual current devices (RCD's), are suitably rated, sufficient and within safe working limits. In the case of RCD's the test trip button should be operated regularly.
- All electrical installations and equipment must have adequate means to enable them to be isolated from the electric supply in order to prevent danger.
- All isolator switches should be easily accessible and passageways to them kept clear at all times.
- All switches and fuseways must be clearly labeled as to indicate the circuit or function controlled and all switches and distribution covers must be kept closed at all times unless being worked on by a competent authorized person.
- Adequate working space means access and lighting must be provided at all electrical equipment on which or near which work is being carried out which may give rise to danger.
- There should be adequate arrangements to ensure that electrical equipment that has been made 'dead', whilst work is being carried out on or near such equipment, cannot be electrically charged if this would then present danger.
This can be physically achieved by ensuring that a 'lock-out' system is used, i.e. the isolator controlling equipment is physically locked in the 'off' position. Where a 'lock-out' system cannot be used then there should be a procedure for ensuring that fuses are removed and held by the authorized person carrying out the work.
Any work being undertaken on an electrical installation or equipment should be subject to a safe system of work and the Permit-to-Work Procedure.
- Where work on electrical equipment is being undertaken by 'in-house' competent persons then suitable protective equipment must be provided. Examples of such equipment may be goggles, gloves, insulating mats, insulated tools and test probes.
- Notices giving details of emergency resuscitation procedures in the event of electric shock should be displayed at those locations where the risk of electric shock is greater e.g. sub-stations and electrical test areas.
- Only competent authorized persons, i.e. those with sufficient experience and training, should be engaged in any work on an electrical installation or equipment.
From Only US $179