The importance of keeping up with electrical maintenance is not a new concept, but is something that can significantly benefit both business and commercial properties. Keeping properties electrically safe through regular maintenance gives people the confidence that they have the right measures in place to protect both visitors and staff from electrical problems.
Electricity is essential for almost every building, and is a vital part of our everyday lives. But for businesses powering up for long periods of time, there will inevitably come a time when electrical issues arise. Experimenting with electric power can be fatal for those without experience, so companies should always call an electrician and not attempt to make any repairs themselves.
Although the law does not require consistent electrical testing and inspections in the workplace, it does require workplace electrical equipment to be maintained to ensure safety at all times. Electrical tools or appliances that have been left unchecked can develop faults and be a serious hazard. Because of this, it is imperative that businesses are aware of how to reduce on-site risks.
According to the HSE’s health and safety statistics between 2015 and 2020, 1,122 workers sustained non-fatal injuries from contact with electricity. However, workers do not need to be in direct contact with electricity to be at risk of injury. An example of this is an electrical fire, which can put many people in danger. Therefore, it is vital to tackle electrical risks as much as possible.
To hammer home the importance of resolving electrical problems in the most efficient way, there are four tips your electrician wants you to know.
Don’t ignore warnings
In most cases, electrical mishaps will start showing signs of an issue before it becomes serious, so decision-makers have time to call an electrician before business is affected. These warnings can differ depending on the situation and the source, but most present themselves visually so there is time to react. These can include noises, sparks and items becoming extremely hot are all warning signs that should never be ignored.
Don’t try to fix problems yourself
Attempting quick fixes yourself may seem harmless, but it is a dangerous domain and it can be fatal when DIY is undertaken. Those who embark on DIY tasks may not have the correct understanding of the equipment they are dealing with, and cannot predict the outcome of their actions. This means they aren’t able to take the necessary precautionary measures to safeguard themselves and the electric system.
Low-voltage doesn’t mean low risk
It is a common misconception that low voltage is less dangerous than high voltage, which leads to people implementing quick fixes and careless tactics. It is important to remember that it is not the voltage that is dangerous but the current, as the current that flows through the wires is still dangerous and can still do damage in a number of ways – this should never be underestimated.
As electricity is silent, this makes it one of the most serious health and safety hazards in a workplace. It cannot be tasted, seen, heard, or smelled, and as a result most workers are unaware of the potential exposure they face whilst at work, which leaves them vulnerable to electrical injuries.
Don’t be complacent
Many of us don’t consider the dangers of electricity when plugging in and switching on our electrical appliances. This is especially true in low-risk environments, such as offices, but the risk should not be sold short regardless of the workplace. Electrical hazards can be easily prevented and controlled by following simple precautions, and should not be approached by those who are not qualified electricians.
Employers have a legal duty to prioritise the health, safety and welfare of their employees while they are at work. Therefore, they must identify hazards, assess the risks and reduce the likelihood of electrical injuries as much as possible and report any serious or imminent dangers. With a safety-first mindset and regular maintenance, electrical hazards at work can be avoided, and with many businesses now reopening, checks must take place ready to welcome back workforces into a safe and well-maintained environment.