PAT Testing News Round-Up - Issue 46
27th May 2015
This issue covers:
- Electrical fire risk warnings in North Wales
- ESF introduces Care and Repair fund for electrical safety
- HSE penalises electrical safety testing death
- Visit us at Safety & Health Expo
Fire officers in North Wales have warned residents and business owners of the dangers of electrical fires following a number of incidents.
The warning came after three fires at commercial properties during one weekend in mid-April which were all believed to have been started due to electrical faults.
Stuart Millington, senior Fire Safety manager, said: “Luckily there were no casualties, and due to the efforts of our fire crews the commercial properties had minimal damage.”
During the same weekend fire crews also attended five residential fires which are all believed to have been started due to an electrical fault.
“Fires in the home can be devastating, and sadly two of the five fires had caused substantial damage to the homes," added Mr Millington.
“We attend around 470 accidental fires in dwellings each year and electricity or electrical items are responsible for over 300 of these fires.
“Last October a fire in Llanrwst which claimed the lives of two men aged 19 and 39 was most likely to have started in a tumble dryer. The matter remains subject to a coroner’s inquest."
Advice provided by the fire and rescue teams includes not overloading plug sockets, checking for frayed wires, unplug appliances when not in use and keep appliances clean and in good working order.
In a new report, Electrical Safety First (ESF) concludes that one million people aged over 75 currently live in non-decent homes and are at risk from poor electrical safety.
In 'A Shock to the System: Electrical safety in an ageing society' report, ESF claims that nearly two thirds of properties occupied by a couple over 60 do not meet basic electrical safety standards. In addition, the electrical installations and appliances in their homes also tend to be older;
In response to this situation ESF has provided £60,000 through its grant scheme to Care and Repair organisations throughout the UK.
In addition to providing funding for essential minor electrical work that supports safety and wellbeing, the funding is also designed to help in emergency situations such as undertaking repairs that might aid a return home from or prevent prolonged admission to a hospital.
The type of work can range from repairing lighting to checking the safety of electrical appliances, and it is always undertaken by a registered competent person.
Electrical Safety First has produced a free leaflet which includes tips and advice for anyone concerned about safety in their own home or that of a relative/friend.
The full report is at A Shock to the System: Electrical safety in an ageing society.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reported that Grundfos Pumps Limited of Leighton Buzzard, Bedford, pleaded guilty to electrical safety failings after a trainee design engineer lost his life.
On 30 March 2009, 19-year-old trainee design engineer, Jake Herring, came into contact with a live 3 phase electrical system and died from his injuries. Jake was carrying our electrical testing work at the Grundfos Pumps Ltd factory in Windsor and was working unsupervised whilst testing a live electrical control panel.
The company appeared at Reading Crown Court on Monday 11 May 2015 and was fined £300,000, with total costs of £115,000 after pleading guilty to breaching the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 3, (1) (a), and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 Reg 3, (1)(a), contrary to Regulation 14.
An unsafe system of work was found to be the cause of death. Grundfos Pumps Ltd had not adequately risk assessed the testing of live electrical panels to identify a safe system of work and failed to provide suitable training and supervision to undertake 3 phase live testing.
Inspector for the Health and Safety Executive, Paul Williams, said: “This tragic incident could and should have been avoided. Grundfos Pumps Limited’s failure to adequately risk assess the electrical testing process led to an unsafe system work being in place. Training and supervision arrangements were clearly inadequate.” Full story here
Seaward will be using Safety & Health Expo 2015 (London ExCel, 16-18 June) to showcase its latest innovations in maintaining electrical safety in the workplace.
Alongside its market leading range of portable appliance testers, on stand R2225 Seaward will be demonstrating the most recent addition to its range in the form of a powerful mobile app.
The PATMobile app is packed with special features that help to convert manual PATs into semi-automatic testers complete with test results recording capabilities.
Available for use on Android and iOS devices, the dedicated app works with the testers to enable the digital input and storage of test records alongside barcode scanning, label printing, photo tagging and other complementary test functions.
The innovation is specifically designed to support the lightweight PrimeTest 50 and 100 testers for low to mid-volume testing and enables downloaded test results to be kept in formal records, stored for future reference and distributed easily via e-mail – eliminating the manual recording of results and paperwork normally associated with basic PAT testers.
Seaward’s PATMobile app is available from the Google Play and Apple App stores. Visit www.seaward.co.uk/PATMobile for more information.
Both testers have been developed in keeping with the focus on risk assessment to establish periodic electrical safety testing and inspection and are equipped with all the necessary test functions required to comply with the latest industry guidance.
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