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Health and safety

Electrical safety at work

There are simple precautions you can do when working with, or near electricity that can significantly reduce the risk of  injury.  

You can do your own electrical work such as wiring a plug are if you are competent to do so, but more complex tasks and electrical works in a workplace will need to be untaken by a qualified electrical engineer. You must make sure that anyone working on electrical equipment is competent to do so, such as an electrician who is a member of the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC)

Employers have a duty to ensure that fixed electrical installations are constructed and maintained safely. You can do this by arranging regular inspection and testing to:

  • Ensure that people and livestock are protected 
  • Reduce the risk of potential fire and heat damage caused by electrical defects
  • Check that the electrical installation has not become unsafe 
  • Make sure that electrical installations comply with current regulations
  • Meet your insurance requirements

Electrical inspection and testing

You can do this firstly by a visual check as most electrical safety defects can be found this way and some defects can't be detected by testing alone.
A more formal visual inspection and testing by a competent person may also be required at appropriate intervals, depending upon the type of equipment. You should draw up a schedule of maintenance that determines when you intend to test and inspect your equipment. 

Further information

The HSE has extensive guidelines on electrical safety and testing:

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