Here at C Squared Electrical, we’ve worked with a wide range of businesses; from small start-ups to large-scale multi-site companies. For us, there’s nothing more rewarding than helping a businessowner see their vision come to fruition, being part of their journey, and seeing them prosper.
And our support doesn’t just stop when we’ve finished kitting out their premises. Having worked to the very highest standards to bring commercial properties of all shapes and sizes to life, we want to ensure our clients maintain those high safety standards, so to make things easy we’ve compiled our top tips for electrical safety in the office.
All UK employers have a legal responsibility to protect the health and safety of their employees and this includes ensuring all electrical equipment is safe and fit for purpose. It’s essential you familiarise yourself with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 so you know exactly what’s expected of you.
Use your common sense
Employees should conduct a quick, common sense, visual check of any equipment before they use it. If they notice a frayed or knotted cable, a loose plug or a broken cover, they should be made aware of who to flag this up to and the equipment should be repaired before use.
Call in the experts
For a more thorough test, it is recommended that a qualified electrician carries out a Portable Appliance Test (or PAT) once a year. A PAT involves a visual inspection, an earth continuity test, and an insulation resistance test. As a result, the appliance will either be given a ‘Pass’ or a ‘Fail’.
For the record
Keep a record of when each piece of equipment has been checked, what the results were, and when it needs to be checked again.
Get it in writing
An electrical inspection certificate (or EIC) will outline the full details of your electrical installation work, inspections and tests. Make sure your electrician provides you with a copy of this as it may be a requirement of your business insurance.
An inspector calls
It’s not just your portable appliances that will need to be assessed – it is recommended that you have a periodic inspection of your fixed wiring every five years too. Again, make sure you get a copy of the electrical installation condition report (EICR) which will list any faults, damage or problems.
The dos and don’ts of electrical safety in the office
- Use ever only equipment that is earthed or double-insulated
- Switch off all appliances when not in use. Remember, even in ‘Stand-by’ mode, equipment will use energy
- Inspect cables and equipment regularly, report and fix any faults before using again
- If an appliance feels hot or starts to make strange noises, discontinue use immediately
- Never overload power sockets
- Don’t plug one extension lead into another
- Remember that cables can be trip hazards so keep them tidy
- Keep electrical equipment as far away from wet areas as possible
If you’d like to find out more about enlisting C Squared Electrical’s help to update your office or commercial property, get in touch today for your free, no-obligation quote.