When it comes to the workplace, taking chances with health and safety simply isn’t an option. Rather than waiting for disaster to strike before calling out an electrician, it’s vital to instead take a proactive approach.
Having an electrical safety plan in place at work is of critical importance, both for documenting the company’s approach to electrical safety and for looking after the best interests of the workforce. Without a safety plan, you leave yourself wide open to any number of negative scenarios.
Many electricians offer an electrical maintenance plan, these plans often cover a variety of services such as PAT testing and the installation of fire safety equipment, security systems and heating & ventilation.
Portable Electrical Equipment
Portable electrical equipment refers to any electrical item that can be moved around the workplace. Examples include all IT equipment, Hoovers, kettles, fans and so on. It is a requirement that all such equipment be kept in a safe working order at all times – the national standard for doing so being through PAT testing.
Short for ‘portable appliance testing’, the term refers to a process whereby professionals assess the safety and working order of electrical devices, before declaring them safe or unsafe for use. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that these tests are carried out regularly enough to ensure that all appliances are always kept in a safe working condition.
While it’s the legal duty of the employer to manage electrical safety, the law does not specifically state that PAT testing must be carried out annually. It all depends on the type of appliance, its age, how often it is used and so on. This again is something that must be determined by the employer and outlined in the electrical safety plan, under the advisement of an expert.
Fire Safety Equipment, Security Systems and Heating & Ventilation
To ensure that equipment such as fire alarms, security systems and heating & ventilation are working correctly as well as safely, it is imperative that they are installed by a qualified electrician.
In addition, your electrician can also identify areas for improvement by recommending additional products such as energy saving units or bringing gaps in the security system to your attention.
While the responsibility ultimately falls with the business owner, it is critically important to generate awareness of the importance of electrical health and safety among the workforce. Every employee working with or using any electrical equipment plays a key role in monitoring its safety and working order – something that is often forgotten or overlooked entirely.