Once the electrical safety testing has been completed the resultant electrical remedial works must be completed. The risk is that an accident or incident occurs after tests identify a fault but before that fault is remedied.
Regularly there are lethal situations where sites have been tested but faults not corrected. It’s vital to understand that fixed installation testing is only part of the electrical safety compliance requirement. If the essential remedial work is not complete following testing then the organisation could be culpable of fault and negligence. It’s 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.
Testing must surely be done – ignorance is no defence – but acting on the results is essential.
In a recent survey of 400 organisations that have had testing done, shockingly, over half admit that no electrical remedial work has been done subsequent to that testing.
When electrical safety testing is done any ‘damage, deterioration, defects and dangerous conditions within the installation’ will be reported. These fall into four codes, with the first two requiring essential remedial action: Code One, ‘requires urgent attention’, used to indicate that persons using the installation are at risk and Code Two, ‘requires improvement’, indicating that the observed deficiency requires action to remove potential danger. Any fault reported as Code One or Code Two must be remedied. The test engineer must notify the commissioning contact in writing that day of any Code One faults and give advice that remedial action should be taken without delay.
In summary, it’s imperative to appreciate that periodic fixed installation testing is only part of electrical safety compliance. Essential electrical remedial work must be completed in a timeframe appropriate to the coding of the fault or faults found – and in the case of Code One faults this means urgently.
Checklist to help you choose an electrical safety supplier:
• Testing companies should be members of the NICEIC (the inspection council for electrical installation contractors)
• Test engineers should all be fully employed by the supplier (not sub-contractors) and qualified to City and Guilds 2377 for portable appliance testing (PAT) and 2391 for fixed wire installation
• Supplier complies with the IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers) Codes of Practice and current Wiring Regulations to 17th Edition BS7671 : 2008 as amended and IEE guidance note 3
• For fixed installation insist on 100 per cent ‘testing’, not just 100 per cent ‘inspection’
• Membership of accredited health and safety bodies and public liability insurance of at least £5m