Specialist electrical testing company, Intersafe, has warned that ignoring electrical safety regulations can put businesses at risk. The firm, based in Hampshire, has also stressed that failure to produce evidence of a current
Periodic Inspecting and Testing records could invalidate a company's insurance in the event of an electrical fire, potentially crippling the business financially.
Intersafe's Managing Director, Adrian Pendle, said: "We are very concerned by the number of companies who simply do not seem to take their Health and Safety obligations seriously. If you and your business are not compliant with safety legislation, you may well find yourself without insurance cover."
Julian Boughton Managing Director of specialist commercial insurance brokers Alan & Thomas says 'It is incumbent upon all policyholders to meet their legal and legislative obligations and failure to do so may invalidate policy cover. In the event of a large claim where the proximate cause of the loss is deemed to be an electrical fault, an insurer would investigate what steps had been taken by a policyholder to mitigate any such loss. This will include a review of all preventative maintenance and inspections up to the date of the incident. If an insurer can establish that a policyholder has been negligent in their responsibilities, they may repudiate the claim.'
A requirement of the policy would be to take all reasonable steps to prevent or diminish loss and this reflects The electricity at Work Regulations 1989 which states "As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be
maintained so as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, such danger."
In some cases insurers check before the policy comes into effect that the organisation has met their electrical safety obligations. More and more premises are being visited by the insurers to evaluate compliance. However this often
doesn't happen and the policyholder may only be aware that that they are uninsured when a claim is made. Unfortunately by that time the horse has well and truly bolted. Adrian adds "Furthermore the offence of corporate manslaughter, which came into effect in April 2008, means that companies and organisations can be found
guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of a gross failure by senior management to follow Health & Safety requirements that results in a fatality."
The best way of ensuring that you are legally and safely covered is to ask an independent expert such as Intersafe to test the electrical systems in your building as well as the portable appliances within it. The company does not carry out repairs, so you can be sure that the report will be accurate, authoritative and completely unbiased. Intersafe is NICEIC certified, so customers can be confident that the services offered are the best in the industry.