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Safety at Work: Does Your Business Pass the Power Test?

You will know that as an office or factory manager, your electricity supply and your electrical machinery must be tested regularly to ensure that they are well maintained and are in no danger of becoming a hazard to your business. By employing professionals who are trained to spot and deal with these dangers, you ensure that your workforce is safely protected.

Maintaining electrical equipment does not necessarily mean that you need to carry out complicated electrical testing of each piece of apparatus as visual inspections by experienced personnel will be able to identify most of the potential risks.

Trailing cables are the worst offenders

In all office and warehouse locations, trailing electrical cables are potential dangers for many people slipping or tripping over the wires. While this is a health and safety issue, this also runs a large risk of leads and plugs being quickly pulled from their permanent position and perhaps stretching wires out of place and out of sight within the cables. If these problems are not dealt with efficiently, then employees and potential visitors may be subject to electric shocks or fires.

Moving appliances around a workspace

There’s a vast range of portable appliances that may be moved around office and factory workspaces. These may include televisions and projectors as well as computers and printers. Fax machines, photocopiers may also be included within this list as are kettles, fans, heaters and desk lamps. All of this equipment should be tested from time to time to check that it is in good working order.

The first stage of the testing is to carry out a visual inspection of all of these portable appliances. This means that the business needs to keep a detailed inventory of all of the portable equipment in the workplace.

To aid with the correct style of inspection, each appliance needs to be disconnected from the main electrical supply before the inspection is carried out so that the plugs can be checked for signs of any damage. This may include cracked casings and exposed wires which will require immediate modification to ensure that the appliance continues to work correctly. Where any cables are twisted or cut or you can see any bent pins or loose screws, these will also need urgent attention.

Where you find any wires or electrical equipment that people have tried to mend, with the best intentions at heart, you might find insulating or masking tape passed over or around a problem electrical area. This appliance should be removed from the supply immediately, so that it can be dealt with correctly and safety information shared with people working in that area who may have tried their own, albeit failing, electrical repairs.

Checking every plug

It can be time-consuming to open up every single plug, but it is essential that this action is carried out, first to check that fuses installed properly and second to see that the cord grip is in place to keep all of the wires in their correct positioning. You will ensure that bare wires are not visible other than at each of the terminals and that all screws are tight when you have finished. If there is any sign of any burnt plastic in or around the casings, the whole appliance should be removed from duty until you have resolved the problem.

All of these situations can lead to a potential fire at your workplace. The fire might take place when people are around and put people’s lives at risk, but if it occurs when the building is empty the whole of the business might fail because the electrics weren’t checked regularly. This is a very good reason why you should employ an outside agency to professionally carry out this task frequently to ensure your health and safety standards are impeccable.

Chris Jenkinson of Norwood Electrical enjoys helping people improve business infrastructure.

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