Safe Electrical Working Practices

Owners, operators and maintainers of electrical equipment within the UK find that they are typically required to comply with various items of legislation and guidance in order to ensure that the equipment remains sufficiently safe during normal operation and foreseeable activities.

The applicable legislation is driven mainly by the familiar requirements of the Health and Safety at Work act, and the primary regulations derived from this. Notable for the electricity hazards are the Electricity at Work Regulations, but also the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.

The use of a risk-based approach should be applied in all instances in order to ensure that the three fundamental requirements of electrical hazard management are met in the first instance in accordance with Regulation 14, ensuring live conductors only present a hazard where this is unavoidable and appropriate controls can be applied in all circumstances.

Live working risk assessments and the associated controls and mitigations can be a complex field requiring experience and knowledge of the specific equipment to which it applies.

As a result, the majority of owners, operators and maintainers of electrical systems usually operate some form of 'safety rules' system which requires mandatory actions for certain circumstances, ensures minimum levels of competence are demonstrated before authorisation is provided for work to proceed and for management involvement in the appointment of these authorised persons to ensure management oversight.

The technical assessment of competence and the development of associated guidance, instructions and procedures to accompany the 'safety rules' is an on-going activity that enable continuous improvement in electrical safety management and for the capture of knowledge and experience from the day-to-day learning from operations. It is not always possible to maintain staff who are sufficient competent or experienced to assess the competence of the location's authorised people, but with suitable involvement, third-party expertise can be used to challenge, critique and technically assess competence and provide independent, authoritative advice to management on candidates for authorisation, on safety rules' performance and electrical safety management as a whole.

We have considerable experience in the application of electrical and mechanical safety rules within power generation and in electrical safety rules' application for offshore oil and gas assets, having been involved in training, development, assessment and authorisation of personnel in both contexts.

We would be happy to discuss how we might be able to help and how we may be able to share our learnings with you. Please use the details oin the contact us page to get in touch.


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Shaw Power Ltd. is registered as a Company in England and Wales. Company number: 11502322

Director: Stuart Shaw


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Last Modified 8th October 2018