What Are the Legal Requirements for Periodic Inspection and Testing and is it a Requirement of my Insurance Company?

Electrical installations deteriorate over time therefore Periodic Inspection and Testing is important for safety.

Every electrical installation deteriorates over time and to ensure the safety of users it is important that the electrics of your building are tested at appropriate intervals. Not only does this ensure the safety of your employees and visitors, it also safeguards your organisation when it comes to your insurance company and of course abides by the Health and Safety regulations.

The laws covering Periodic Inspection and Testing are as follows:

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 – Requires employers and employees to ensure the health and safety of all in the work premises (including visitors, contractors and the general public, where applicable).
  • The Management of Health and Safety Work Regulations 1999 – Putting the onus on the employer to perform adequate risk assessments to ensure the lowest level of danger for employees and ensure the safety of the workplace as far as is possible.
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 – Requiring the employer to ensure the safety of any equipment used by employers (including fixed, portable and transportable equipment) that relies on an electrical energy source. ;
  • The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 – Defining what constitutes electrical equipment and the maintenance and safety requirements of safe use of electricity in the workplace.
  • The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 – Governing the maintenance of equipment, devices and systems within the workplace.
  • British Standard BS 7671: 2015 Amendment 3 (IET Wiring Regulations) – BS 7671 (the IET Wiring Regulations) sets the standards for electrical installation in the UK and many other countries. The IET co-publishes the Regulations with the British Standards Institution (BSI) and is the authority on electrical installation.

Increasingly, insurers are insisting that inspection and testing be carried out on a regular basis. If an avoidable accident or a fire occurs where electricity is suspected to have been the cause, then under law if found guilty you will be deemed to have committed a criminal offence. Insurers will not pay fines or compensation suffered resulting from a criminal offence.

A visiting inspector will not necessarily identify the need to maintain electrical safety at every inspection he makes, especially if there are other issues to be addressed. Because testing has not been specifically demanded does not mean that the legal requirements to comply with electrical safety do not apply.

Inspection and testing will establish if an installation is safe for users and the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) produced from the testing will tell you the overall condition of the electrics, whether they are satisfactory for continued use and detail any work that might need to be done.

What does the HSE Say?

“Under UK law the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act) in Great Britain or the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 in Northern Ireland employers are responsible for ensuring the safety and health of their employees and also the public, if they are at risk from those work activities. This includes electrical safety. ;

Electrical Inspectors aim to reduce the number of electrical accidents by enforcing the law, providing advice on good working practices, and developing guidance in response to technical changes in equipment and working methods.

Electrical Inspectors work in cooperation with other responsible bodies including The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) , Local Authority Standards departments and The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem ).”

If you have any questions about Periodic Inspection and Testing or would like to arrange a site visit for your upcoming electrical testing, contact Stephanie by calling 02380 610101 or email stephanie@intersafe.co.uk to book an appointment. Intersafe have been delivering tailored solutions and safeguarding organisations for over 20 years. They are specialist in Periodic Inspection and Testing, PAT Testing and Thermal Imaging.