General health and safety information

Electric Heater Safety – including why you must not plug heaters into extension leads

Electric Heater Safety Tips This is a true story, that happened in October 2021. It was a Tuesday in October 2021; we had a 3-man team working in a busy office/production business in Newcastle upon Tyne. The company is very well run, with many intelligent personal, many of whom are electrical engineers - we're saying this to show that even people who should know better can make mistakes. In the reception office, where it was cold, mainly because the building had no real ceilings, just a corrugated roof, so the receptionist was running an electric convection heater. It had a sealed plug - they often cause alarm bells as we don’t know what standard the internal wiring is, and that plug was plugged into a “cheap” 4-gang switched extension lead - that's a big no no whenever we see this, and we always advise the client against such an arrangement. We did on this occasion of course. What made the situation every worse though, was that that extension was plugged into another extension. In this case a cable reel. The cable reel was coiled up inside - if you are going to use a cable reel, [...]

2022-03-07T11:05:00+00:00Health and Safety|

Workplaces returning to work must prioritise compliance

With the end of lockdown, many companies are preparing to return to working in the office. However, the HSE is urging businesses to pay close attention to compliance regulations, as many properties may have gone without inspection during the lockdown period. Electrical compliance is extremely important to mitigate risk and stay within the law. Over the lockdown period, it is likely that many electrical appliances' certificates of compliance may have expired, meaning they must be renewed and inspected by professionals to be safe for use. The Electricity at Work Regulations state that no electrical equipment should be used when its capability or strength is weakened. Regular portable appliance tests must be carried out by professionals before use. Experts suggest implementing a planned maintenance schedule to keep on top of compliance in workplaces. This will ensure all aspects of the facility remain safe for use, and within the law. We provide electrical testing and compliance services to help your business. To bring your PAT testing up to date, book an appointment for your PAT Testing.

2022-03-07T11:02:45+00:00Health and Safety|

Safe PAT testing for Home Workers

Home visits provide a unique opportunity to carry out Covid - safe PAT testing of electrical equipment provided by companies for their staff to use whilst working from home. Safe PAT testing for Home Workers - home visits If your staff are working from home due to Covid, as an employer you want the peace of mind that the equipment you supply staff with is as safe now as it was when it left the office. For some, it has been over 6 months now (Oct 2020) since the equipment was taken home and it may have missed it's regular PAT test. Even if it's regular check hasn't been missed how do you know the appliances didn't get damaged in transit or are being used appropriately at home? We have the solution - safe PAT Testing outside your staff homes We have been working through Covid and one of the most regular issues we're finding is the amount of equipment that is being used by staff at home, and how little of it has been checked since it left the office, and what is the solution to check it [...]

Tips for the safe use of electrical extension leads

Top 15 Tips for the safe use of electrical extension leads When we are PAT testing in offices, building sites and pretty much every business we see a lot of instances where socket extension leads are used incorrectly. Here we have put together a list of 15 top tips for the safe use of the extension lead. Electrical extension leads are often used incorrectly, just because it has 4 sockets doesn't mean they all need using at the same time. The one we see most often is daisy chasing; we spend a lot of time educating our clients in why this shouldn't be done. Daisy chaining increases the risks of overloading sockets which can be a very risky thing to do. Here are our top 15 TOP Tips for the safe use of electrical extension leads Do not overload extension leads by plugging in too many appliances, e.g. even though there are 4 sockets it doesn't mean you can use all 4. Don't run extension leads through water or snow on the ground. Do not use an extension lead instead of permanent wiring. Do not run extension leads through walls, doorways, ceilings or floors. Don't cover [...]

2021-10-11T12:12:08+00:00Health and Safety|

Keep your staff homes safe from Coronavirus if they’re working from home

Keep your staff homes safe from Coronavirus Coronavirus is effecting us all; we've been told to work from home if we can but safety measures have not been put in place.  If you're letting staff take appliances home that they wouldn't usually, such as company PC's make sure they are safe - you may not have time to get a PAT test done so make sure that they are visually sound: Check the plug and cable for any damage, especially when you remove them from their usual desktop home Check the appliance itself and make sure all parts and covers are attached If you do have time to get us in to PAT test - do so; we'll come any time.  Check out our Working from home safety tips blog for more information on safely working from home.  Now remember hygiene: It's not just the coronavirus that threatens us; germs of all kinds can be transferred from work to him and vice versa through dirty electrical appliances, especially keyboards and mice: Clean appliances before they leave the office, then clean them again when you get home in case they have picked up any germs during transit - there's no [...]

2021-09-08T06:00:10+00:00Health and Safety|

6 Electrical safety tips for children

6 Electrical safety tips for your children Electricity whilst being useful to power our homes, it is also very dangerous when misused. Lots of people are hurt and killed every year due to electrical accidents. These simple safety tips will help you reduce the chance of or avoid such accidents. Never stick fingers, toys and other objects in an electric socket Never use electrical appliances in the bathroom Never pull a plug out of the socket using its cable Never put drinks on top of your games console Never climb trees next to power lines Stay away from places marked with warning signs And if you really are concerned about your child's safety, consider a lockable socket cover to protect them. 

2021-10-20T15:58:56+00:00Health and Safety|

Do you employ five or more people?

The Health and Safety at Work Act sets out general duties that employers have towards employees and users of their facilities, and that employees have to each other, and other users. The main requirement on employers is to carry out a risk assessment. If you employ five or more people you need to do risk assessments When you carry out the risk assessment for your workplace, make sure you consult with the approved IEE Code of Practice, for electrical equipment - this book will guide you determine whether electrical equipment in your workplace needs inspecting and testing (portable appliance testing), and if so, how often it should be done. Sometimes equipment needs testing as often as weekly or monthly, but in most situations much longer frequencies are required, anywhere between annually to five years to never, dependent on the appliance and the environment it is being used in. Richard prides himself in offering clients an honest service, and so will help you determine clear frequencies for your PAT Testing should you need it. You are required to ensure that equipment provided for use at work is safe Under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 you are [...]

2022-05-09T10:42:55+00:00Health and Safety|

Faulty extension leads

 Finding faulty extension leads Faulty extension leads can be rather dangerous, so finding them is important in protecting peoples lives. Imagine going to a well known supermarket to buy your extension leads because you think they should provide the best products only to discover they are cheaply made, high profit appliances - these leads are put together so badly that the earth leads easily drop out or snap potentially causing the appliances running off them to become live. Do you realise how dangerous a faulty extension lead is? If you're running an appliance that needs to be earthed, but the earth wire in the lead isn't connected, then the lead isn't earthed, which means neither is the appliance. This makes the appliance 'live' if a fault occurs, which means if you touch any exposed metal parts you will get an electric shock. Finding a missing earth isn't something you will spot without opening up the plug, or when it is too late so this is why PAT Testing is so important.  An extension lead can be dangerous in various circumstances: The main one is when it is overloaded with too many plugs, which leads to overheating and potential fires Another [...]

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