Why do we use 110 volts on site rather than 230 volt?
If you are working on a formal building site than you are are going to need to use 110 volt equipment; this is standard practice on UK sites and is often a pre-requisite for the insurance of the site.
The Health and Safety Executive advise that tools, plugs and cable designed for domestic use are not suitable for site conditions. They further advise that site workers should use cordless tools where possible, or those that operate from an 110v (CTE) center tapped transformer so that the maximum voltage does not exceed 55v.
110v site transformers are “centre tapped“; or dual phase. What this means is the 110 volts is actually reduced further to 55 volts x 2. This much lower voltage and current is much safer to use, and it is unlikely to cause you major harm if you accidentally touched a live wire.
Most sites will have onsite generators with 110v sockets attached to them for use by workers, however it is recommended that you have your own transformer, which should be PAT tested every 3 months whilst in use on site. Transformers convert the 240 volt current to 110 volt and then split that current into at least 2 outlets, to connect other tools; which should also be maintained to safety standards through user checks, formal visual inspections and 3-monthly PAT tests.
Booking us for site work
When we are booked to do jobs on building sites we recommend all equipment is brought to one convenient location, ideally outside the ‘hard hat’ area, so as to reduce the strain on the site insurance and reduce the risk of accident, but also as the best method to ensure all equipment is tested, and something in use on site isn’t missed.
We can generally do the job early in the morning before you start, over the lunch breaks or after the shift finishes if you can’t afford the downtime.
We do have CSCS cards if needed and experience working on sites, and full PPE. But the easiest method is to bring all the equipment to your site office, store or canteen where we will do the testing, preferably with a nice cup of rosy lee.
When you’re using your power tool on site does it seem underpowered? Chances are you’re using a long extension cable. You need a shorter one – the further you are from the actual power source the more likely the power to your tool will reduce. To solve this problem you need to use a shorter lead, or get a battery operated alternative.