Electricity is hazardous. Faults can lead to fire or explosions, and electric shocks can cause injury or death. This is why it’s important for regulations to be in place to make sure electrical installations are safe.
In domestic properties, building regulations apply to electrical work. They’re in place to make sure home electrics are safe and work properly.
Building regulations don’t apply to commercial or industrial buildings. Instead, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 controls workplace electrics. Read on to find out more about the Electricity at Work Regulations and how it could affect you.
What is the Electricity at Work Regulations?
The Electricity at Work Regulations is a law that came into place in 1990. It is designed to limit the risks involved in using electricity in the workplace. Two of the main things the regulations deal with are:
1. The condition of workplace electrical installations
The law has several regulations relating to the state of electrics in the workplace. Generally, they should be safe and maintained regularly. Other points are that:
- The electrics should be resistant to weathering, corrosion and other risks
- Conductors should have adequate insulation
- Any work on the electrical installation should be carried out safely
- Any protective equipment available should be suitable and work properly
2. Who is responsible for workplace electrical safety
The Electricity at Work Regulations also says who is responsible for keeping the workplace safe. Both employers and employees have responsibilities:
- Employers are responsible for making sure that workplace electrics meet regulations. The self-employed should also do this.
- Employees have to cooperate with the efforts their employer makes to do this. They should also comply with the regulations themselves as much as possible.
So if you’re an employer, you need to make sure you’re familiar with the law and what you need to do. And if you’re an employee you should make an effort to cooperate with your employer and the efforts they go to to keep you safe from electrical hazards.
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