Electrical safety in the office is important for many reasons. One of the main purposes is to keep your employees safe. Failure to keep on top of your electrical safety can leave your business exposed to many hazards. For instance, shocks, electrocution, fires, and burns. Furthermore, failure to maintain your electrical safety can void your business insurance. Lastly, failure to comply can also leave you exposed legally. Government regulations such as the health and safety at work act 1974 require companies to follow certain procedures to ensure employees are safe.
Some of the symptoms of electrical shock include: muscle spasms, convulsions, paralysis, and cardiac arrest. Electrical shock can also cause burns, either at the site of contact or internally. In severe cases, electrical shock can lead to death.
Electrical shocks can be prevented by following basic safety precautions, such as using only grounded outlets, not overloading outlets, and not using extension cords unless absolutely necessary. In addition, all office equipment should be properly maintained and inspected on a regular basis. Lastly, tests such as PAT testing and EICR aid in minimising the hazards caused by faulty electrics.
Tips to improve electrical safety in the office
• Avoid overloading outlets.
• Do not plug appliances into each other. For example, do not plug a coffee maker into an extension cord that is plugged into a computer.
• Unplug small appliances when not in use.
•Avoid using extension cords unless absolutely necessary. If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is properly rated for the wattage of the equipment you are using.
• Use only light-duty cords and plugs for office equipment such as computers, printers, and fax machines.
• Never place cords and wires under carpets or rugs.
• Do not staple or nail cords and wires to walls or baseboards.
• Keep work areas well ventilated and free of clutter.
• Report any electrical hazards immediately to your supervisor.
Electrical Safety in the Office ( PAT Testing)
A PAT test, or portable appliance test, is a process in which electrical appliances are checked for safety. The aim of a PAT test is to ensure that electrical appliances are safe to use and pose no risk of electrocution or fire.
PAT tests are typically carried out by a qualified electrician who will carry out a series of tests on the appliance to check for any potential safety hazards. These tests include an insulation test, a earth continuity test and a test for correct functioning of the appliance.
If any faults are found during the PAT test, the electrician will make repairs or adjustments to the appliance to ensure it is safe to use. The appliance will then be retested to ensure it meets all safety standards.
PAT testing is a requirement for many businesses and organisations who use electrical appliances. As a result, it is advisable to have appliances regularly PAT tested to ensure they are safe to use.
Electrical Safety in the Office ( EICR Test)
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) should be part of your electrical safety procedures. A Electrical Installation Condition Report is a periodic inspection of an electrical installation, it's carried out by a qualified electrician. The report will identify any observed deficiencies against the national safety standards for electrical installations. Furthermore, the electrician will make recommendations for any remedial work that may be required.
An EICR is sometimes referred to as a 'landlord's safety certificate', 'periodic inspection report' or 'electrical installation certificate'.
Why is an EICR important?
EICR is important because it provides evidence that an electrical installation has been inspected by a qualified electrician. It also confirms that any observed deficiencies have been noted and reported. It is a legal requirement in England and Wales that all landlords must ensure that the electrical installations in their properties are safe. An EICR is one way of providing this evidence.
An EICR is also important because it can help to identify potential hazards before they result in an accident or injury. By carrying out regular inspections and taking remedial action where necessary, the risks associated with electrical installations can be effectively managed.