Legal Requirements

Your Safety, Our Concern

The Health & Safety Act 1974

      The above act puts a duty of care upon both the employer and the employee to ensure the safety of all persons in the work place.

The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

      States: “ Every employer shall make suitable and sufficient assessment of : the risks to the health & safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst at work” and “to ensure the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him or his undertaking.”

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. (PUWER).

      “ Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is so constructed or adapted as to be suitable for which it is provided.”

      PUWER 1998 covers most risks that can result from using work equipment.  With respect to risks from electricity, compliance with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 is likely to achieve compliance with PUWER 1998.

      PUWER 1998 only applies to work equipment used by employees at work. This includes all work equipment connected to a source of electrical energy.  PUWER does not apply to fixed installations in a building such as building internal wiring.  The electrical safety of which is dealt with by the Electricity at Work Regulations.

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

      States: “As may be neccessary to prevent danger, all (electrical) systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, such danger.”

      “ ‘System’ means an electrical system in which all the electrical equipment is, or may be, electrically connected to a common source of electrical energy and includes such source and such equipment.”

      “ ‘Electrical Equipment’ includes anything used, intended to be used or installed for use, to generate, provide, transmit, transform, rectify, convert, conduct, distribute, control, store, measure or use electrical energy.”

Scope of Legislation.

      It is clear that the combination of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the PUWER 1998 and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 apply to all electrical equipment used in, or associated with, places of work.  The scope extends from distribution systems down to the smallest piece of electrical equipment.

      It is also clear that there is a requirement to inspect and test all types of electrical equipment in all work situations.

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