ELECTRICAL SAFETY IN THE WORK PLACE

Electrical Safety in the workplace should always be observed and never be underestimated. Local codes of practice or regulations may be in force to ensure that safety is maintained to eliminate the possibility of accidents arising from the danger of electricity. These dangers would include Electric Shock, Burns, Fire, Explosion and Arcing. In the United Kingdom the the Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002, introduced under Statutory Instrument No. 2665, and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (EAW Regulations), which came into force on 1 April 1990, comprehensively deals with this subject. The purpose of these far reaching regulations is to ensure that the necessary precautions are taken against the risk of death or personal injury at work. This involves the imposition of duties on employers and employees in respect of electrical systems, equipment and conductors and the installation of the same.

Other national and international standards will also exist and these should be observed when required. IEC standards standards related to electrical safety include :-

IEC 61140 : Protection against electric shock - Common aspects for installation and equipment. This standard covers the Basic rules, Requirements for protective provisions, Description of protective measures, Combination of protective measures, and special operating and servicing conditions

IEC 60364-4-41 : Low-voltage electrical installations - Part 4-41: Protection for safety - Protection against electric shock. This standard specifies essential requirements regarding protection against electric shock, including basic protection (protection against direct contact) and fault protection (protection against indirect contact) of persons and livestock.

IEC 60364-5-54 : Electrical installations of buildings - Part 5-54 : Selection and erection of equipment - Earthing arrangements, protective conductors and equipotential bonding. This standard covers the basic requirements for earthing and bonding for safety purposes, and Protective conductors.