General health and safety information

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.

Join our mailing list for updates, electrical safety guidance and the chance to get 10% off your PAT testing

2021-10-13T09:12:51+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 is safe? This is… safe PAT testing outside the home.

We will visit the home of each member of staff, and safely, using Covid-safe measures, check their electrical appliances are safe without ever having to go into the property or making contact with the person.

Corona Virus Stay Safe Poster

This is how we do Safe PAT testing

Home Visits

  1. We arrive at the arranged time; the engineer wipes the handles of the box and the inside area (and any other area that might be touched), washes his hands and puts on a pair of clean gloves. He carries the box to the front door, rings the bell (or knocks) and backs away beyond 2 metres.
  2. The client opens the door, they are aware of what to do, but if not we can explain; they should put their appliances in the box, then close their door.
  3. The engineer takes the box to the car / van to conduct the necessary inspection, tests and maintenance. Applies labels as normal, wipes each appliance touched, and put the appliances back in the box. He then carries the box back to the door, rings the bell and steps back 2 metres.
  4. The client opens the door and takes their equipment out of the box. Some pleasantries may be exchanged and then the client closes the door.
  5. The engineer collects the box, returns to his vehicle, wipes the box, puts the wipes in the bin, removes his gloves and puts them in the bin, then washes his hands for more than 20 seconds using hand sanitiser.

Or in the staff car park

This process can just as easily work in your office car park if you don’t want us going to staff houses;

We arrange staggered arrival times, the person pulls up in their car, we put the box down, they fill it up and get back in the car; then we take it away, test it and return it. We would do this working as a team, so we can have a steady flow of vehicles and no hold ups.

How to arrange Safe PAT testing

Arranging safe PAT testing couldn’t be easier. There is a form below to complete, if you do that then we will contact you to discuss the process, prices and make the arrangements.

Safe PAT testing prices are dependent on what we have to do; whether we’re visiting houses or working from one location, how many engineers we have on the job, how many properties we have to visit, how many we can do in an allotted time, what the travel times are, etc.

You would need to provide us with staff addresses and advise staff that this is happening (we can provide email templates); then if you can give us mobile numbers or emails we can send each person a guidance message to what will happen and our estimated arrival time.

If you also have equipment still in your permanent workplace, that you want inspecting too, whilst the premises are empty, we can arrange to do that too.

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

  1. 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.
  2. Don’t run extension leads through water or snow on the ground.
  3. Do not use an extension lead instead of permanent wiring.
  4. Do not run extension leads through walls, doorways, ceilings or floors.
  5. Don’t cover the lead – if it is covered, heat cannot escape, which may result in it overheating and catching fire.
  6. It’s best not to use an extension cord for more than one appliance.
  7. If you’re using a lot of extension cords; maybe you don’t have enough sockets; consider getting some new sockets installed
  8. Multiple extensions must be plugged directly into mounted sockets rather than being ‘daisy’ chained together.
  9. Make sure the extension lead is rated for the products to be plugged in
  10. Make sure the extension lead is suitable for use, for example, only use a proper outdoor use lead, outdoors
  11. The appliance or tool that you are using the extension with will have a wattage rating on it – Match this up with your extension; do not use a cord that has a lower rating.
  12. If the cord or plug feels excessively hot stop using it
  13. If the cord or plug is damaged in any way, stop using it – Touching even a single exposed strand of wire can give you an electric shock or burn.
  14. Never use two-pin plugs in 3-hole sockets.
  15. Never force a plug into an outlet if it doesn’t fit.
2021-10-11T12:12:08+00:00Health and Safety|

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

Corona Virus Update

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 point going to work at home to be safer if you risk your home safety by transporting germs inside. 
  • Do the visual inspection again when in the house, because the appliance may have got damaged in the car
  • When we get the all clear or you move back to work, clean the appliance again before leaving home and again back at work, and do your inspections again just to be sure. 

We also strongly recommend that once your equipment is back at work you get it PAT tested as soon as possible, preferably before it gets plugged in because there is a high chance it may have got damaged in all the movements. 

Finally; when your workplace is empty – wouldn’t that be a really good time to get the PAT testing done? We can test equipment without disturbing staff as they won’t be there, we can tidy cables as we can move them more easily and we can complete the job in less time than normal – also if you do this, we’ll give you a 10% discount off the normal rate we charge you, as a thank you for the work. 

Keep safe in this time, and stay well

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

6 Electrical safety tips for children

6 handy 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.

  1. Never stick fingers, toys and other objects in an electric socket
  2. Never use electrical appliances in the bathroom
  3. Never pull a plug out of the socket using its cable
  4. Never put drinks on top of your games console
  5. Never climb trees next to power lines
  6. Stay away from places marked with warning signs
2021-09-04T16:51:04+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.

People around a computer

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 required to ensure that equipment provided for use at work is safe – to make sure electrical equipment is safe you will need to get it inspected and tested; inspection and testing of electrical equipment is commonly called portable appliance testing (when the appliance can be unplugged) and fixed appliance testing (when it can’t).

Additionally, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require people in control of electrical systems to ensure they are safe to use and are maintained in a safe condition; again, inspection and testing will confirm whether the electrical system (mains wiring and appliances) is being maintained correctly in a safe condition.

It is good practice to make sure electrical equipment is safe

If you employ five or more people you are required to perform a risk assessment, which will determine the risk of your electrical equipment, whether it needs PAT testing, and how often; even if you don’t employ anyone it is still good practice to make sure your electrical equipment is safe.

We can help you with this –

DRA Electrical Safety Services specialise in checking electrical equipment is safe, giving you the peace of mind that your employees and other users of equipment are safe, and are not likely to suffer an electric shock.

Our health and safety credentials have been checked, and verified by the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment.

2020-10-17T18:19:04+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:

  1. The main one is when it is overloaded with too many plugs, which leads to overheating and potential fires
  2. Another could be when it’s on a cable reel and hasn’t been unwound
  3. Another reason could be when the wire is damaged

There are many issues that lead to an extension lead being dangerous, these are just three

Learn about the safe use of socket extensions and what they’re not intended for

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