To comply with British workplace regulations, you need to make sure all electrical equipment is always safe and do what needs to be done as often as is necessary to ensure that is the case. Information on the regulations that affect you are on “regulations that impact electrical equipment” page.
In reference to portable appliances (electrical equipment fitted with a plug or intended to be fitted with a plug but now hard wired); they need to be checked as often as is necessary to ensure they don’t get damaged or deteriorate to the point of causing an accident or fire. This could be due to misuse, incorrect use, damage during use, use in improper environments and so on.
To determine what action needs to be taken and when, the HSE recommends a person competent (in electrical safety and fire prevention, etc.) carries out risk assessments for the different types of equipment and working environments (in your workplace / places of work) to determine what action needs to be taken. From this a frequency should be established. This would then need to be reviewed at regular intervals. Portable appliances may need an inspection, or inspection and test anywhere between every month and every 4-5 years.
Most insurance companies however expect you to do everything necessary as often as possible to eliminate risk and will check what you’re doing in the event of a claim – they tend to consider a 12-month period between checks as the maximum term.
(They will also be expecting you to be doing in-house user checks.
Most companies tend to go with the insurance option and get their equipment tested annually; it’s considered best practice and experience has shown that with annual checks there is a strong likelihood that equipment will be maintained, new additions will be picked up and faults will be kept to a minimum. It’s also widely regarded as the cheapest option.
Which you choose is up to you; we will send you an annual reminder, unless you tell us otherwise. We find this works well for clients, as they may have got some new equipment or moved premises since we last attended, and the reminder is a good ‘reminder’ that they need. Some equipment will need combined inspection and testing, and some will just need an inspection, either way when there is about 8 weeks left until the anniversary of testing, we’ll send a reminder including a date for a new appointment – after doing this for over 10 years, we have found this to be the best practice and expected by our clients.
If you have done a risk assessment and determined alternate retest periods, then its best to provide us with a copy so we can update our records for the reminders; then we can remind you what needs to be done based on your own company policy.
For more information on what we can do for you or to arrange for us to help maintain your safe electrical equipment, contact us today.