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5 Tips for Workplace Electrical Safety

Workplace Electrical Inspection Condition Report

Every year, around 1,000 workplace accidents involving electricity are reported to the Health and Safety Executive, and about 30 people die from injuries caused by electrical hazards. Electricity and electrical appliances can cause catastrophic accidents if not kept in check. From electric shocks, electric fires and extreme incidents like explosions, electricity can be an extremely dangerous component and must be maintained in the workplace. All electrics should be checked, properly installed and regularly inspected and maintained by a qualified person.

As a business owner, you must, by law, ensure that your staff are safe in the workplace which includes abiding by electrical safety standards. More specifically, as a workplace, you are required to follow the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, and the Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989. Anyone who works with electrical equipment can be at risk if safety precautions are not set in place; even people just working with computers face potential hazards in their workplace. 

To help you keep on top of some of the most common electrical risks found in the workplace, we have compiled a list of five risks along with some simple solutions.

  1. The most important, and best way, to ensure electrical safety within the workplace is by having a professional carry out a periodic Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR). It is recommended that businesses have an EICR carried out on the property every 5 years, to check the safety of all of the electrical appliances on the premise. 
  2. A super common issue in the workplace is overloading plug sockets, which will increase the risk of electric shocks and electrical accidents. With more and more technology being used in the workplace, this is a common issue but it’s important to note that you should never plug an extension lead into another extension lead. In fact, we recommend not using any extension leads at all and just using plug sockets instead. If you do not have enough, it would certainly be worth having more installed to increase safety. 
  3. Similarly, this one isn’t exactly a direct electrical risk, but having more and more appliances of course means more wires. This comes with an increased risk of trips, so make sure that all of your electrical appliances and wires are maintained and hidden away safely to avoid injury. Keep liquids away from appliances too, as any spillages could cause electric shocks. 
  4. Do you have a kitchen space on offer at your workplace? Most businesses will offer kitchen appliances for staff to utilise, so you’ll need to be aware of kitchen equipment becoming faulty. Microwaves and toasters are particularly prone to fires if they become faulty and are still being used. So, make sure to have appliances PAT tested by a professional to keep them all in check.
  5. Finally, make sure to brief your staff on the safest ways to handle electrical equipment when necessary. Employees should take care to handle electrical cords properly:
  • Always unplug cords by pulling on the plug head, rather than the cord 
  • Don’t press or overstretch electrical cords 
  • Don’t fasten cords with staples 
  • Don’t hang electrical equipment from cords

If you are due electrical testing in your Leicester or Midlands business, we can help! Get in touch with us on 0116 288 3493 for more details.