Electricity is essential to providing quality education in schools and is commonly used in lessons for demonstrations and class activities.
Accidents due to electrical faults in these environments are rare, however this does not negate the need for precaution to be taken when working or handling electrical appliances. In this article we will discuss how to adhere to Health and Safety at Work regulations and keep both children and staff safe in an academic environment.
Clear and Accurate Circuit Charts
Electrical systems in educational establishments are often worked on by number of different electrical contractors, heating engineers and air conditioning service personnel. This can lead to circuits being altered without the associated circuit charts being kept up to date.
When having an electrical inspection condition report carried out by Intersafe full and up to date circuit charts are also provided. These are a valuable resource and enable any electrical issues to be traced quickly to minimise disruption and distractions for students.
Working with Live Electricity
Where electrical equipment is used by staff or pupils that presents a risk to health if not used correctly, for example giving shocks and/or serious burns to the user, supervision by a teacher with adequate electrical knowledge is essential, as they must be able to recognise potential faults or hazards that could lead to injury.
Electrical Socket Protectors
Plastic socket protectors should not be used in schools, as they have not been manufactured to any safety standard and therefore do not act to minimise risk of electric shock caused by the insertion of foreign objects into the plug socket. In some cases they have been known to increase danger where the plastic pins break off in socket outlets leaving the internal safety shutters open.
Accidents Involving Electricity
All accidents, regardless of the severity, must be recorded in the school’s accident book and reported to local authorities via a health and safety form. For information on reporting injuries, read this article from the National Education Union.
Find a Competent Inspector
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 state that a ‘competent persons’ to undertake inspection, maintenance and repair of electrical apparatus, and strictly forbids teachers or any other unqualified individual to interfere with electrical systems.
When unplanned outages or electrical faults occur, finding a professional electrician at short notice can seem an impossible challenge. At Intersafe, we have a team of regional engineers ready to assist with you with a short lead time. To find out more, contact a member of our team on 02380 236200 or message us with your enquiry today.