If you’re a business owner, or you’re in charge of health and safety within your place of work, then there are some things you should be aware of from an electrical standards point of view. Here, we breakdown our top five tips for office electrical safety.
From maintaining emergency lighting to organising a regular Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), this essential guide to electrical hazards in the office will ensure your workplace is safe to use and help make sure that all occupants can quickly exit the building in the event of an emergency.
1. Book an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
Commercial Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR) are key to office electrical safety. They ensure that the electrical systems in a building are safe and compliant with current UK safety standards, BS 7671. This is particularly important for offices, since wear and tear can lead to defects and fire risk.
EICR reports cover everything from distribution boards to light fixtures, detailing anything of concern, or any areas that need remedial works. During the EICR visit, our inspector will identify any defects and provide a coded observation for each.
Depending on your business and property type, you should aim to have an EICR carried out every five years. For high-risk buildings, like factories, an EICR should be completed more frequently.
2. Arrange for Regular Emergency Lighting Testing
Emergency lighting is crucial and it’s a legal requirement, emergency backup lighting and signage provides illumination in the event of a power loss which might occur during an emergency. This helps the building’s occupants to evacuate quickly and safely. From standby lighting to escape route lighting, these emergency lights and signs should be inspected monthly and more thoroughly once a year.
Your monthly emergency light tests should be carried out by an experienced engineer, to ensure the system is functioning correctly. For this, mains power will be turned off and emergency lighting checked for operation.
Additionally, more in-depth emergency lighting tests should be carried out once a year. This involves a duration test, which ensures your emergency lighting remains clear and bright for long enough to ensure everyone within the building can exit safely.
3. Don’t Forget About PAT Testing
As a business owner, you’re responsible for maintaining the health and safety of your building, as well as all the electrical equipment inside it. PAT Testing is the only way to ensure the electrical appliances you supply for your staff are safe to use.
PAT Testing will cover everything from IT equipment to extension leads, handheld electrical appliances and multi-way adaptors. Business owners are encouraged to take a risk-based approach to the frequency of testing, but we do recommend PAT Testing is carried out once a year.
4. Don’t Overlook Remedial Works
Electrical remedial works should be carried out on systems and installations following an EICR. These repair works ensure the main electrical installation is working optimally and all defects get rectified.
Arranging remedial works is extremely important, from both a safety and financial point of view. Ignoring any issues could result in fires, injury, property damage and invalid insurance, so ensure you always keep on top of these essential repair works.
5. Educate Your Staff on Electrical Safety
As well as doing your bit to ensure your premises are compliant and safe, you should also encourage your staff to keep up to date with electrical safety in the workplace.
From asking them to keep an eye out for any clear signs of electrical deterioration, to ensuring they know the correct emergency exit procedures, it’s your responsibility to make sure your employees are informed and prepared.
You could even keep a list of electrical hazards in the workplace so that everyone can be aware of what to look out for.
How Hexo Electrical Testing Can Help You
We’re experts in electrical safety and have an experienced team of qualified inspectors and engineers. With out of hours appointments available, we can minimise disruption for your business, providing you with the assistance you need to remain compliant.
When testing for electrical hazards in the office we use the latest and very best equipment from Megger. We have a team of reliable and skilled engineers and we offer out-of-hours appointments. With us, you’re in safe hands.
To find out more about electrical safety in the workplace, get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 0207 315 4151. You can find our prices here and make a booking today.