Now I need to make it clear at the start, I am not an electrician, but some of the nastiest incidents I have had to investigate have involved contact with live buzz bars and lack of proper control when working on electrical equipment. 
They say you can’t easily see, hear or smell electricity, but you can feel it, and then it’s usually a bit too late. Getting a kick off an electric fence (12V) when out walking the dog is one thing, but coming into contact with higher voltages and currents in the workplace can be something totally different. 
I had to investigate an incident in Glasgow a few years back where an electrical contractor dropped a spanner on to some live incoming cables and suffered severe burns. This just shows that even the professionals can get things wrong. 
So here are some really basic things to consider: 
Have access to competent electrical advice: Whether in house or through an external contractor, get someone involved whose opinion you trust. 
Get a site services plan prepared: A survey should be carried out and a drawing produced to show all site services, both overhead and underground. A key should be developed to distinguish between the various services. Items on the plan might include: 
Overhead electrical supply 
Underground electrical supply HV 
Underground electrical supply LV 
On-site electrical distribution line and depth 
Security Systems 
The plan should have reference to fixed points and, where possible, show service depths. 
Undertake regular inspection and maintenance: Develop a scheme of inspection and maintenance based around the following: 
An organizational structure for the scheme of maintenance 
Appropriate authorisation of competent personnel 
A detailed description of the scheme and the equipment included for inspection and maintenance 
Frequency of inspection and test and who is going to complete it 
Testing specifications, procedures and methods 
Technical notes for specific equipment. 
A process for recording maintenance and repair 
The scheme should be developed with your electrical specialist but you may wish to have someone independent undertake the inspection and test from those doing the maintenance and repair. 
Finally, I have read of a lot of electrical inspections that contain many actions but often these have not been corrected or signed off. When you get an electrical report back, don’t just file it in a draw. Read the action list and set up a plan for dealing with the category C1s, C2s and C3s (C1’s are usually the most important and significant items), and when they have been sorted, sign off that part of the report to show it has been actioned. 
If you are still not sure where to start, please drop a line and we can point you in the right direction. 
Tagged as: Electrical Safety
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