Should I check my appliance before using it?

Yes, it is important to check your appliance before using it, especially if that appliance is hand-held. Hand held appliances potentially pose the biggest risk, as if a fault develops; you are holding it!

A number of accidents in the workplace are caused by faulty electrical appliances; appliances that have become faulty for many reasons but accidents that have happened because no-one was on hand to check the appliances worked correctly. User checks help to prevent accidents by finding faulty equipment. 

In a workplace everyone is responsible for health and safety; for ensuring electrical appliances are safe, and that includes the user of the equipment.

110volt power lead with lots of damage sitting on a blue welding unit

Check your appliances – called User Checks

Before anyone uses any electrical appliance they should look at it and make sure it is ok (without damage); most of us do this without even realising but try to make a point of doing it so you know you have.

If an appliance has developed a fault and you pick it up and switch it on you could be risking giving yourself an electric shock – do you want to inflict that on yourself? Of course not – do a user check.

User checks find faulty equipment – after your user checks if you feel an appliance is dodgy inform someone and get it taken away for repair.

A user check checks for damage to an electric appliance preventing electrical accidents.

How to do a user check:

Before you start using an appliance, before you switch it on…

Check it for any damage

  1. Is the plug in tact, with 3 pins and the top is not loose?
  2. Is the cable free from kinks and not have any cuts in it?
  3. Is the appliance itself free from any cracks or holes that shouldn’t be there?

See this other page about user checks for more info. 

Before using an electrical appliance you should check it for issues such as these (make sure the appliance is disconnected first):

  • damage to the lead including fraying, cuts or heavy scuffing
  • damage to the plug
  • tape applied to the lead
  • coloured wires visible
  • damage to the outer cover of the equipment itself
  • signs of overheating, such as burn marks or staining on the plug