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Electrical Safety: What Managers and Supervisors Should Know

In 2013, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) laid down some guidelines on electrical safety which included the actions that should be taken by anyone overseeing electric related job roles – such as area managers and supervisors. Each key element needs to be properly considered and practiced for the health, safety and overall wellbeing of employees.

Establish a System of Rules and Procedures

Conduct thorough risk assessments and establish a system of rules and procedures in areas where electrical work needs to be carried out. These rules must be written down and made known to everyone – with a clear brief outlining each policy statement.

All areas must be carefully inspected and anywhere with extensive electrical systems must have another set of safety rules which is listed methodically for easier understanding.

Carry Out the Set Principles

The principles may range from simple safety precautions such as the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), to the overall safety procedures like the utilisation of electrical warning signs and the fitting of rubber safety mats. Once these rules have been established, they must be strictly adhered to.

Managers and supervisors must also have a copy to hand of the detailed procedures for safe working practices for particular equipment, including task-specific risk assessments and method statements.

Review Unforeseen Occurrences

There should be a thorough review of any work, most especially regarding any unforeseen occurrences. This allows for changes in the established rules and procedures, leading to a safer and more productive working environment for future projects.

Both the managers and the supervisors must take note of the review to consider how they can improve the system that is currently being practiced.

Ensure a Safe Working Environment

As a major consideration for managers and supervisors, they should make sure that operatives completely understand the procedures, that they can competently operate the electrical equipment and that they are well versed on safe practice work procedures.

Moreover, managers and supervisors must also decide who needs a greater level of supervision or who needs more training to improve their skills. Workers who are lacking in competence must not be allowed to handle electrical equipment to ensure overall employee safety.

British Electrical Safety Standards

Other than the above key points, certain standards should be followed by companies and considered by managers and supervisors:

IEC 61111 Insulating Matting

Electrical safety mats or flooring solutions should comply with the IEC 6111-2009 standard, which replaced the British Standard BS921. Rubber mats that are manufactured to this standard are made with different rubber classes, depending on the working voltage they can handle.

BS7671 IET Wiring Regulations

Considered as the main standard concerning electrical installations, the BS7671 describes how electrical equipment should be built and installed to promote safety within the workplace.

BS6423 Maintenance of LV Switchboards & Control Panels

This code recommends that all switchboard and control panel operators should maintain the machines to ensure they are fully operational and in safe working condition at all times.

No precaution is effective if it is not put into action!

For electrical safety mats that are carefully tested to British and European electrical safety standards, phone Coruba on 01702 560194 or email us at info@coruba.co.uk.


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