Electrical appliances safety is kept to a maximum as a result of electrical appliance testing. It is important that electrical appliances are safe for the use of employees, tenants and residents. There are numerous regulations which highlight the safety of electrical appliances:
• Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
• Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
• Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
• Workplace (Health, Safety and welfare) Regulations 1992
• Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 in regards to electrical appliances safety examines the duty of care to both the employer and the employee to ensure the electrical safety of appliances of everyone using the work premises.
The approach towards electrical safety appliances is presented in The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 which states that it is imperative that “Every employer shall make suitable and sufficient assessment of:
• The risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst at work
• The risks to ensure the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him or his undertaking.”
Furthermore, The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), states that “Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.” Therefore, it is strongly suggested that employers are to undergo a procedure of electrical appliances testing to ensure safety of employees and employers.
PUWER comprehends many hazards that can result from using dangerous electrical appliances. The regulation which is relevant to electrical appliance safety is applicable in the Electricity at Work Regulations.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 states:
“All systems shall at all times be of such construction as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, such danger.”
“As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, such danger.”
“Electrical Equipment’ includes anything used, intended to be used or installed for use, to generate, provide, transmit, transform, rectify, convert, conduct, distribute, control, store, measure or use electrical energy.”
The HSW Act 1974, PUWER 1998 and the EAW Regulations 1989 are all relevant to electrical appliances safety. It is evident from safety regulations that it is required to test all types of electrical appliances in places of employment to ensure safety of employees. Thus, PAT testing is somewhat essential in regards to any health and safety policy. It has been stated by the Health & Safety Executive that 25% of all reported electrical accidents are a result of portable appliances.
The Electricity at Work Regulations assert legal responsibility on employers, employees and self-employed people to adhere with the regulations and take advised procedures to ensure that there are no hazards from appliances and safety is maintained. The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) applies an obligation in the following circumstances:
• Employee use of electrical appliances
• Public (establishments, hospitals, schools, shops etc) use of electrical appliances
• Where electrical appliances are supplied or hired
• Repairing and servicing of electrical appliances.
The extent of electrical appliance safety relies on if the appliance becomes faulty depending on the type of appliance, the nature of its use and the environment in which it is used.