PAT Testing News Round-Up - Issue 26
26th September 2013
This issue covers:
- Electrical Fire Safety Week
- PAT networks news 1...APAT advice...
- ...PAT networks news 2...PAT Testing Network growing
- Apollo 600 innovation is recognised
- HSE electrical safe working guide is updated
- Firm penalised for electrical safety failings on construction site
- Council pulls plug on used electrical goods
- ESC response to new London rental safety standards
Electrical Fire Safety Week (23rd - 29th September) is a nationwide campaign that aims to raise awareness of one of the biggest causes of accidental fires – electrical faults and the dangers of unsafe appliances.
Fire and rescue services and trading standards office’s around the country will be hosting a number of events and activities during the week. These will include special events that will reinforce the importance of PAT testing in detecting faulty or counterfeit appliances.
Throughout the week, Seaward will be highlighting special activities and electrical safety tips on twitter from its @SeawardPAT newsfeed.
The Association for Professional Appliance Testing (APAT) has announced that it is now working alongside the Advertising Standards Authority to help raise standards within the PAT Testing Industry.
The Group says that it is helping those involved in the PAT business in the UK to comply with Advertising Standards and the work is being undertaken in conjunction with its ongoing collaboration with the Health and Safety Executive.
APAT says it is concerned that a high percentage of service providers continue to mislead the consumer which is contributing to confusion surrounding Codes of Practice and revised guidance.
“We have worked with the Health and Safety Executive to help provide clearer guidance to promote risk based inspection and testing periods and we are continuing to work with those service providers who wish to advertise their services in an honest, professional manner.”
As part of the organisations aim to support, promote, educate and lobby to create a level playing field for fair competition, APAT says it will assist any service provider who would like advice on promoting best practice or if they have a complaint against unfair advertising.
More details via the APAT Group on www.linkedin.com.
The recently established PAT Testing Network is designed to help local companies tender for bigger contracts, promoting a group network on Google ranking and generally bringing those independent PAT companies together with a stronger voice.
So far the network has 60 members and has allocated 58 UK postcode areas to participating members, but is still looking to cover remaining large parts of the country with group representation.
Membership is open to those involved in PAT who have their own business or provide an independent service (not through contractors). Postcodes will be allocated for local work in the same area as your business address. Some postcodes will be allocated to more than one company. Members are also asked to comply with a basic set of group rules.
More details are available at www.pattestnetwork.co.uk/.
This time of the year is the industry awards season and the impact of Seaward’s groundbreaking new multi-purpose Apollo 600 PAT tester has been recognised with its inclusion in a number of prestigious awards shortlists.
The Apollo 600’s integration of PAT testing, risk assessment and other safety management tools sets new standards in electrical safety testing instrumentation – delivering new test efficiencies and benefits for all those responsible for safety at work.
As a result, the innovative new tester has been shortlisted in various T&M and best new product categories in this year’s Electrical Industry Awards, the SELECT Awards and the British Engineering Excellence Awards.
The Apollo 600 faces tough competition in all these categories before award winners are announced, but Seaward is delighted at the industry recognition being given to the introduction of its new tester.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced the publication of the third edition of its Electricity at Work: Safe Working Guide.
The guidance covers the key elements to consider when devising safe working practices and is for people who carry out work on or near electrical equipment.
It includes advice for managers and supervisors who control or influence the design, specification, selection, installation, commissioning, maintenance or operation of electrical equipment. This third edition updates the guidance and provides sources of further information.
Full details available at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books.
An Ashford-based building company has been prosecuted for "repeatedly failing to manage risks" on a construction site, including electrical safety issues.
Canterbury Magistrates were told yesterday (20 August 2013) that the development site in Ramsgate, run by Ecobuild Homes Ltd, had been visited by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Inspectors seven times in five months.
The court heard that on one visit, inspectors had had no choice but to stop some work at the site immediately owing to the dangers faced by workers of falling from height and issues with electrical safety.
Ecobuild Homes Ltd was served with three prohibition notices halting specified work activities, and two improvement notices setting out required improvements to safety standards. The site manager was also issued with a prohibition notice because the operation of the site was far below minimum legal safety standards.
The company was found guilty in its absence to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to comply with an Improvement Notice and guilty to a breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. www.workplacelaw.net.
Council pulls plug on used electrical goods In a review of the type of goods permitted to be sold by market traders, Northumberland County Council has introduced a ban on sales of second hand electrical goods on council owned markets.
The move is in response to concerns from the public about second hand electrical items being sold at the markets and the results of inspections carried out by trading standards officers who found significant safety and testing issues with some of the items on sale.
The new rules have been put in place to ensure the safety of residents and visitors who shop at markets. Councillor David Ledger, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council and policy board member for public protection, said: “We are taking a zero tolerance approach to items which may cause an accident, injury or a fire.
“Even if products are second hand, it is vital that they are still safe in all regards and that the public are protected.” The restrictions have been put in place to help market shoppers feel confident about the quality of products and maintain the highest standards of quality and safety on all goods sold at markets across the county.
More details at www.northumberland.gov.uk.
The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) says that a new standard aimed at improving safety in privately owned rented accommodation does not go far enough. Although generally welcoming the new London Rental Standard (LRS), the ESC is concerned over the lack of any detailed requirements on electrical safety.
Phil Buckle, Director General of the ESC said: “The development of the London Rental Standard is a step forward but it doesn’t go far enough to improve electrical safety. High safety standards should be a vital prerequisite for any landlord seeking accreditation.
"Given that research indicates private rented sector tenants are more likely to be at risk of electric shock than owner-occupiers, or those in social housing - and that over half of accidental domestic fires in Britain are caused by electricity - the lack of specificity in relation to electrical safety is regrettable.”
The LRS is a voluntary accreditation scheme that contains a series of minimal standards and around twelve core commitments, from fees and deposits, to landlord and letting agent training. References to safety standards simply state that landlords must comply with current legal requirements.
The ESC had called for the LRS to include a mandatory minimum standard, which included electrical safety, to ensure that properties are in a reasonable state of repair. The ESC also lobbied for a requirement for fitting residual current devices to be a pre-condition of accreditation.
More at www.esc.org.uk.
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