Control Measures For Electrical Hazards
The principal control measures or the safety precautions for the electrical hazards contained in the statutory precautionary requirements covered by Electricity at Work Regulations.
They are applicable/appropriate for all the electrical equipment and the systems found in the workplace and command duties on the employees, employers and the self-employed.
The Following Topics are covered in the Electricity at Work Regulations:
- The construction, design, and the maintenance of the electrical systems, the work activities and the protective equipment;
- Strength and the capability of the electrical equipment;
- Protection of the equipment upon adverse and the hazardous environments;
- The protection, insulation and the placing of electrical conductors;
- Earthing of the conductors and the other suitable/proper precautions;
- The integrity of the referenced conductors;
- Suitability of joints and the connections used in the electrical systems;
- Means for the protection from excess current;
- The means for cutting off the supply & for the isolation;
- Precautions to be taken for the work on equipment made dead;
- The working on or near the live conductors;
- The adequate/sufficient working space, access and the lighting and the
- Competence requirements for the persons working on electrical equipment to prevent the danger and the injury.
Detailed safety standards for the designers and the installers of electrical systems and the equipment are given a code of practice, issued by the Institute of Electrical Engineers, Which is known as the IEE Wiring Regulations. While these Regulations are not legally/lawfully binding, they are recognised as a code of good practice and widely used as an industry standard.
The introduction of employee training can efficiently control the risk of injury and the damage inherent in the use of the electricity, safe operating procedures/methods (safe systems of work) and the guidance to cover the specific tasks.
Training required at all the levels of the organisation ranging from simple on-the-job instruction/guidance to apprenticeship for the electrical technicians and the supervisory courses for the experienced electrical engineers. First-aid training related to the need for the cardiovascular resuscitation and the treatment of the electric burns should be accessible to all the people working on the electrical equipment and their supervisors.
A management system should be in a position to assure that the electrical systems are placed, operated and maintained safely. All the managers should be responsible/accountable for the provision of adequate resources of the people, material and the advice or the guidance to ensure that the safety of the electrical systems under their control is satisfactory and that safe system of work is in place for all the electrical equipment.
For the small factories and the offices or shop premises where the system voltages are generally at mains voltage, it may be essential for the external competent person to be available or ready to offer the needed advice.
Managers must set up a high-voltage permit-to-work system for all the work at and the above 600 V. The system should be suitable to the extent or the area of the electrical system involved. Attention should also be given to the introduction of the permit system for the voltages under 600 V when relevant and for all work on the live conductors.
The following topics summarise the further control measures that should be taken when working with electricity or using electrical equipment.
- Selection of the suitable equipment;
- Use of the protective systems;
- The inspection and the maintenance strategies.