PAT Testing News Round-Up - Issue 27
29th October 2013
This issue covers:
- Special Best of British installation tester promotion
- HSE updates guide on portable electrical equipment
- Electrical safety failings put company in court
- RoSPA Scotland aims to reduce festive electrical fires
- Seaward’s Apollo 600 comes with UKAS calibration
- ESC report on appliance safety
- Electrical safety campaign for Scottish tenants
Seaward has introduced a special added value - low price Best of British kit for 17th Edition electrical installation testing.
For a limited period only, Seaward is highlighting its presence as one of the few UK manufacturers of 17th edition electrical test equipment with a special kit that incorporates the PowerTest 1557 multifunction installation tester, a limited edition QuickCheck verification key ring and a calibration certificate.
The handheld and lightweight PowerTest 1557 is a compact all in one installation tester that is designed for maximum portability and ease of use. Special features include an integral cordless probe and fast performance, with earth loop, line loop, PFC and PSC tests with one press of a button in under 5 seconds.
A handy pocket-sized QuickCheck verification card key ring is included as part of the special edition kit, and enables users to quickly verify that the PowerTest 1557 is still working within specification for earth continuity and insulation resistance tests. The Best of British PowerTest 1557 kit is available for £299 for a limited period only.
More details at www.seaward.co.uk/bob1557
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has updated its HSG 107 Guide on maintaining portable electrical equipment. The third edition of the booklet is designed to provide guidance for managers, electricians, technicians and users on maintaining portable electrical equipment to prevent danger. In line with the latest IET Code of Practice and the emphasis on risk assessment, the revised edition includes a section on Controlling the Risk and the sort of factors to be considered when assessing any hazards or dangers present.
As well as including guidance to clarify what the legal requirement for maintenance of portable electrical equipment means in practice, the table of suggested frequencies for initial inspection and testing included in the latest booklet has also been updated.
For a free download of the booklet, visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/
The director of a Norwich giftware manufacturing company has been given a suspended six-month prison sentence and 180 hours of community service for safety failings in relation to electrical systems at the company's premises.
Norwich Crown Court heard that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had found that Homenaturals Ltd's manufacturing plant was found to have dangerous electrical installations and equipment in his workplace.
Company director, Mr Lustig, was found guilty of breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 in relation to the electrical systems at the manufacturing unit. The company also admitted a single breach of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995. After the hearing, HSE Inspector Malcolm Crowther, said: "Employers and the self-employed have a legal duty to ensure electrical installations and equipment are safe for use. You should always use a qualified electrician when you install wiring and equipment, and get the electrics periodically checked and tested by an electrician.
"HSE will not hesitate to prosecute where failings of this kind occur and where workers are placed at unnecessary risk."
Full story available here.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) in Scotland is to tackle electrical fires in homes over Christmas with a £3,000 grant from the Electrical Safety Council (ESC).
Across Central Scotland, RoSPA will be giving out festive tea-towels with important safety messages, along with extension leads, to deter families from overloading sockets with electrical decorations and lights - a common mistake often made at Christmas time.
Home safety officers will also be holding festive safety talks with older people’s groups, giving them simple tips on how to avoid electrical fires and injuries.
According to government statistics, each year more than two thirds of accidental fires in Scottish homes - over 3,500 annually - are caused by electricity, and Christmas lights can pose a significant risk if they are faulty or not used properly.
Carlene McAvoy, community safety development officer at RoSPA Scotland, said: “We want everyone to have a safe and happy Christmas, but there are many fire hazards in the home and accidents involving electrical festive items can easily happen. People are 50 per cent more likely to die in a house fire over Christmas than at any other time of year.”
RoSPA is one of the successful applicants for the ESC’s Fire Safety Fund, which aims to support a range of fire prevention initiatives in Scottish communities. In this latest round of awards, the ESC has provided almost £25,000 to seven Scottish organisations.
More details at www.rospa.com
Seaward’s brand new concept in portable appliance testers comes with the highest level of calibration accreditation.
The company’s new Apollo 600 portable appliance tester is now supplied with UKAS calibration certification to give customers maximum confidence in the accuracy of all electrical measurements and testing carried out.
Seaward’s UK manufacturing capabilities certified to ISO9001:2008 and testing is accredited to ISO17025, which confirms that the Apollo 600, along with all other products, have been tested to the highest levels before leaving the production line.
In particular, UKAS accreditation not only confirms the competency of test personnel, but also the suitability and traceability of test equipment utilised in the manufacturing and calibration process.
The new Apollo 600 has been specially designed in accordance with the latest electrical safety advice provided by the HSE and the fourth edition of the IET Code of Practice for compliance with the Electricity At Work Regulations 1989, and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
The multi-purpose PAT achieves this by combining all the electrical safety testing functions of a conventional PAT tester with an integral risk assessment tool and a digital camera to capture images for inclusion in risk assessment and inspection records, and a retest calculation aid.
More details at www.apollo600.com
The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) has published a special report on improving electrical appliance product safety. The ‘Safer Products, Better Business’ review is written mainly for those involved in ensuring and policing compliance with electrical product safety standards, but also makes interesting reading for those involved in portable appliance testing.
The document provides an overview of the sort of measures the ESC sees as being critical to improving product safety for consumers and users of electrical equipment.
Although the focus is very much on consumer safety and the implications of dangerous electrical appliances in domestic premises, the implications for the wider use of unsafe electrical equipment in the workplace are obvious.
Of particular relevance are sections that highlight the fire and injury risks posed by electrical appliances and the recall data for unsafe electrical products.
For a copy of the report visit the product safety section of the ESC website at www.esc.org.uk.
A number of local charities and organisations have joined forces with the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) to promote better electrical safety in the Scottish private rented sector (PRS).
An open letter has been sent to Margaret Burgess MSP, the Minister for Housing and Welfare, ahead of the SNP autumn conference and the forthcoming new Housing Bill for Scotland. Led by the ESC, 13 organisations - including Shelter Scotland, the Scottish Association of Landlords, Citizens Advice Scotland, NUS Scotland and SELECT - have urged a series of improvements to electrical safety within the PRS.
The ESC has called for mandatory, five yearly checks, by a registered electrician, of both the electrical installation in a property and any electrical appliances supplied with it. It has also lobbied for RCD protection in all properties to help prevent severe and fatal electric shock, as well as some fires.
Government data shows that Scottish homes are at a disproportionate risk of electrical fires compared to the rest of Great Britain. Almost 70% of domestic fires in Scotland are caused by electricity and independent research also indicates that PRS tenants are more endangered than those in other housing sectors. A GB-wide survey suggested that people renting privately are at greater risk of experiencing electric shock than homeowners; and other evidence suggests they are at greater risk of fires.
Phil Buckle, Director General of the ESC said: “We believe the PRS can be improved without placing an unnecessary regulatory burden on landlords and that incorporating electrical safety should be a core part of any new requirements.”
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