The Remedial Safety Gap
Many organisations are falling into a dangerous gap between electrical safety testing and remedial work. We regularly see lethal situations where sites have been tested but electrical faults not corrected and its vital to understand that fixed installation testing is only one part of the electrical safety compliance requirement.
If the essential electrical remedial works and repairs are not completed following testing then the organisation could be culpable of fault and negligence. It’s also likely that insurance for the site would be compromised and if the worst should happen then it could be proven that the duty holder was liable.
Following an electrical test a report should be issued that details any ‘damage, deterioration, defects and dangerous conditions within the installation’. An Unsatisfactory report will list the faults and their location and a code is placed against each. Any fault reported as Code One, Code Two or F/I (Further Investigation) must be remedied. The danger is that the report is simply filed and the duty holder’s responsibilities considered fulfilled.
The report will give written notification on Code One faults that require remedial action that should be taken without delay. The regulations require that, wherever practicable, items classified as ‘Danger present’ Code One (C1) should be made safe on discovery, for instance by switching off and isolating the affected part of the installation until remedied. Where this is not possible the engineer should make the duty holder aware of the danger that exists and agree the appropriate action to be taken to remove the source of danger before continuing with the inspection or testing. Essential remedial work must be completed in a timeframe appropriate to the coding of the fault or faults found – and in the case of C1 faults this means urgently.
If left unremedied minor faults can become more serious and costly C1 faults, and one practical way to avoid further disruption to services is to appoint one supplier to undertake both testing and repair work, with minor faults being rectified at the time of testing. This is particularly efficient in multi-site environments where costs can be saved by sending an electrical engineer to each branch to test and scope remedial work followed by an electrician to undertake the repair work, rather than a test engineer followed by a separate technician to quote for remedials and another engineer visit to fix the faults. This cuts the process to two-step rather than three. For this to be possible budget limits must be pre-agreed so that necessary work can be done without delay.
Safety of employees and business continuity are fundamental principles for any business owner and an experienced electrician can help improve performance, increase control and reduce costs.
To discuss your electrical remedial works and repairs please contact our Remedials team on 01242 587080.