The University is obliged by law to ensure that all mains powered electrical equipment used on its premises is in a safe condition. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, which came into force on the 1 April 1990, are statuary regulations designed to protect people against the dangers of electricity in their place of work. The main purpose of the regulations is to prevent death or personal injury from electrical causes in connection with work activities.
Electrical injuries might arise from; electrical shock, electrical burns, fires of electrical origin, or electrical explosions initiated or caused by electrical arcing.
All School equipment must undergo annual inspections and electrical testing by a qualified person. All equipment must be labelled as safe to use and any piece of equipment that fails an inspection or test will be removed and disposed of immediately. The School maintains an inventory of equipment and locations as well as test results.
In the event of a hand held power tool being loaned to a student or member of staff, then a Formal Visual Inspection (FVI) must be carried out by a member of staff with a Portable Appliance (PA) testing qualification.
Formal Visual Inspection (FVI)
A Formal Visual Inspection (FVI) consists of:
- Cable to equipment and/or cable of extension lead in sound condition.
- Cable outer insulation secured in cord grip at plug and secure at equipment (cable must also be protected from case at equipment end).
- No evidence of non-standard joints in cable e.g. taped joints.
- Equipment casing in good condition e.g. no damage, bulges, dents or cracks and no loose parts/overheating.
- No damage to plug i.e. no cracking, bent pins, burn marks or discolouration.
If the plug is not a moulded one, the top must be removed and the following checks carried out:
- No sign of internal damage, overheating or foreign matter in the plug.
- Wires in the plug all firmly secured.
- Wires properly connected to the correct terminal.
- Cable clamp securely gripped to outer sheath, not to the wires themselves.
Personal Items of Electrical Equipment
No personal items of electrical equipment brought into the School by Staff or Students may be used until an appointed member of staff has tested it.
Anyone using mains powered electrical items without the knowledge of the University or School may be held personally liable in the event of injury to another individual (e.g. electric shock or electrocution) or in the event of damage as a result of fire. This also refers to equipment that may be hired to or loaned to the School. In the case of equipment that is temporarily hired by the School, the hiring company must ensure the equipment is properly maintained and is safe for hire. The School must carry out a formal visual inspection. Any item of equipment that fails an inspection or test must not be connected to the mains and must be removed from the University premises. If the item is fit for use the details of the appliance must be logged in to an inventory and kept within the School. The Head of the School can decide whether to allow or disallow personal items on site.
Further information and guidance on Electrical Safety is available from the Health and Safety Services website: http://wsh.leeds.ac.uk/info/200/electrical_safety/186/introduction.