Maintenance of Electrical Plant and Tools
Electricity can kill. Each year about 1000 accidents at work involving electric shock or burns are reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Even non-fatal shocks can cause severe and permanent injury. Shocks from faulty equipment may lead to falls from ladders, scaffolds or other work platforms.
Those using electricity may not be the only ones at risk: poor electrical installations and faulty electrical appliances can lead to fires, which may also cause death or injury to others.
In view of the risks from damaged or faulty electrical equipment, an appropriate maintenance system should be set up. It is also important that equipment is regularly serviced in accordance with manufacturers' instructions.
Users should carry visual checks out daily and competent persons should carry out formal inspections at regular intervals.
These checks and inspections should ensure that ::
• bare wires are not visible;
• the cable covering is not damaged;
• the plug is in good condition;
• there are no taped or other non-standard joints in the cable;
• the cable covering is gripped where it enters the plug or equipment;
• the outer casing of the equipment is not damaged or loose;
• there are no signs of overheating on the plug, cable or equipment; and
• Residual Current Devices (RCDs) are working correctly (the test button should be pressed daily).
Testing, by a competent person, can detect faults such as loss of earth continuity, deterioration of the insulation and internal or external contamination by dust, water, etc. The Building Safety Group can provide more information on working with electricity safely.