Carrying out fixed electrical testing is key to ensuring your workplace meets legal safety standards. But what are the most common faults that are found during these inspections and how are they caused?
Intersafe, which carries out fixed electrical testing for Waitrose, The University of Brighton and Sony among others, has compiled its top five list of common faults:
- Live parts within distribution boards being accessible to touch. This may occur where blanking inserts, which are fitted into unused ways of distribution boards, have been removed, gone missing or not been installed after removal of redundant fuses/miniature circuit breakers (MCBs).
- The internal live parts of accessories (sockets and switches for instance) have been damaged, exposing live parts within. This usually occurs when moving heavy equipment nearby but is also brought about by using excessive force when inserting and removing plugs. ;
- Fuses or MCBs that are rated higher than the maximum current carrying capacity of the circuit conductors connected to them can cause the connected cabling to overheat under fault and/or overload conditions. This may transfer into surrounding combustible materials and therefore increase the risk of fire.
- Internal live parts of equipment can be exposed when accessories have a hairline crack. The crack can look insignificant but has the potential to worsen when a plug is being inserted into or removed from the socket.
- Finally, by far the most common fault encountered is holes around the sides of enclosures (distribution boards, surface mounted sockets and switches), which allow access to live parts within. As a result there is a risk of items such as paper clips, sweet wrappers or fingers inadvertently entering the enclosure which greatly increases the risk of faults, fire or electric shock.
To find out whether any of these potentially dangerous faults are lurking in your commercial premises contact Intersafe on 01329 222370.