PAT Testing News Round-Up - Issue 33
28th April 2014
This issue covers:
- New lead resistance calculator APP
- Electrical Safety First is launched
- New HSE guides on electrical safety of entertainment equipment
- Apollo testers have all-round workplace safety inspection capability
- Campaign to check safety of plug-in night lights
- 'Talking tickets' warn of safety risks
Seaward has launched a new user friendly App to help PAT professionals carry out earth continuity testing efficiently and accurately.
The new Lead Resistance Calculator App for android devices provides a fast and simple means of determining the resistance of appliance cables and leads, eliminating the need for test engineers to use look up tables or calculate resistance values manually.
This is particularly useful when testing Class 1 appliances and calculating pass/fail limit for Earth Continuity testing using the IET recommended 0.1 ohm + R formula, where R is the resistance of the supply cable. By calculating cable resistance value automatically the risk of operator error is eliminated.
The new Seaward App uses drop down menus for cable length and cable area. This enables the fast, reliable and simple automatic calculation of the resistance value of the protective conductor that is needed as part of the test to confirm that there is a good connection between the mains plug and any earthed metal parts.
The App is specifically designed for use with manual PAT testers or mid-range downloading instruments that do not have an integral calculation capability.
The free Seaward Lead Resistance Calculator App is available from the Google play store.
More details on the full range of Seaward portable appliance testers, results management software and test accessories are available at www.seaward.co.uk
Electrical Safety First is the new name of the UK's only charity focusing on electrical safety.
Formerly known as the Electrical Safety Council or ESC, the organisation's rebrand follows 18 months of extensive research and consultation, to determine how the public, industry, government and other stakeholders, viewed the organisation.
"Although we have run highly successful media campaigns, we found people were still unclear about what we are and what we do" explains Phil Buckle, who has been Director General of the Charity since 2009.
"Some believed we were a trade association, while others thought we were a part of government. It was evident we needed an image which really mirrored our purpose and activities as a consumer charity - that we are here to protect people by providing advice and information and by campaigning for improvements to electrical safety."
The name, Electrical Safety First, was chosen to highlight the importance of electrical safety for everyone, consumers, trade and government.
Phil Buckle says: "To fulfil our core objective – to protect people from the dangers of electricity – the public needs to know who we are and how we can help. I believe our new name and image help to do that, by reflecting our role as a consumer champion and ensuring that the charity is fit for purpose in 21st century." More at www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has updated two leaflets providing guidance on the use of entertainment equipment.
Separate documents are provided for owners of equipment and those organisations managing entertainment venues.
In each case the updated leaflets provide advice on how the electrical safety risks associated with the use of entertainment equipment can be controlled, with explanations of what actions are required and why. Updated references to legislation and links to further guidance are also provided.
INDG247 is intended as a guidance note for entertainers who use electrical equipment for sound lighting of other effects. A free download is available at: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg247.htm
GS50 Electrical safety at places of entertainment is intended for managers of entertainment venues, and for people who provide facilities for entertainers. A free download is available at: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/gs50.htm
Seaward's latest generation of portable appliance testers combine electrical safety testing with a comprehensive data logging capability for all workplace health and safety equipment, systems and conditions.
This means that, alongside the risk assessment, inspection and testing of portable appliances and electrical equipment, the Apollo 500 and Apollo 600 testers can create special user defined sequences to record and store all the vital information associated with work place preventative maintenance tasks, tests and inspections.
For example, user generated test sequences can be created for workplace inspections and testing associated with legionnaires disease, fire alarm systems, the condition of fire extinguishers emergency lighting, ladders and access systems and all other critical safety matters.
When used with PATGuard 3, the user can also produce formal inspection and test certificates for permanent paper records of all inspections undertaken.
Once created by the Apollo testers the inspection logs can be used as part of ongoing in-house preventative maintenance schedules or downloaded into workplace records managed by health and safety personnel, facilities managers and estates departments.
Full details on the complete range of Seaward portable appliance testers, results management software and test accessories are available at www.seaward.co.uk
Darlington Council's trading standards team has secured £8,000 of government funding to test the safety of plug-in nightlights on sale in the borough.
The money, from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), will deliver a national market surveillance project checking the electrical safety, construction and marking of selected nightlights bought from Darlington retailers.
The project follows last year's successful bid for £15,000 of funding to test the safety of smoke alarms.
Chris McEwan, Darlington Council's cabinet member for economy and regeneration said: "It is vital that electrical items used in our homes are safe. Unsafe electrical products are a danger to life and can even cause fires.
"It is reassuring to know that trading standards is working with businesses and regulatory partners to ensure the products that we assume are safe are actually safe."
A housing association has started using 'talking tickets' to alert its tenants about the dangers of ignoring gas and electrical safety checks.
The Regenda Group, which manages more than 13,000 homes across the North West, has attached bright yellow warning stickers containing a 30-second audio message on doors at properties where housing staff have been repeatedly unable to gain access to carry out tests.
Regenda mechanical and electrical surveyor Trevor Hill has warned that residents who fail to respond to gas and electrical safety test reminders are putting their safety and the safety of their neighbours at risk.
He said: "Where we repeatedly cannot get access to a property, and safety checks become almost overdue, we need to be able to convey the seriousness of the situation to the resident. The audio message sticker looks like a fixed penalty parking ticket and when you press it there is a polite but firm voice urging the resident to book an urgent appointment."
Housing associations must guarantee that an annual gas safety check is carried out to ensure appliances, piping and flues are safe and well maintained. Similarly, every five years they must undertake an electrical safety test to check that the supply, wiring and fuses are safe.
More at www.regenda.org.uk
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