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Health & Safety, Electricity at Work.

Electricity at Work

The employer must ensure that there is a safe system of work in connection with work on electrical systems in the workplace. This applies whether electrical systems are live or have been made dead.

The employer must also ensure that all apparatus using electricity is appropriate. This must be determined by reference to:

  • Its strength and capability. Thus, electrical equipment must be properly selected and adequately rated before being put into use;
  • Siting in adverse/hazardous environments. Thus, electrical equipment must be adequate if it could be exposed to mechanical damage, weather, natural hazards, the effects of temperature or pressure, the effects of dirt or dust, the effects of wet or corrosive conditions, or any flammable or explosive substance;
  • Insulation, protection and placement of conductors;
  • Earthing;
  • Integrity of reference connectors;
  • Excess current protection;
  • Safe operation;
  • Maintenance.

In addition, the employer must ensure that only competent staff work with or on electrical systems or equipment. The degree of competence is greater for work requiring specialist knowledge and skills (such as installation, repair or modification) than for work involving normal use of equipment (such as machinery, computers, photocopiers, or the like). For normal use of equipment, the health and safety information, instruction, training and supervision provided by the employer should enable staff to be competent.

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