Risk of electric shock with exposed live terminals

The exposed live terminals , were found by a Veriserv engineer whilst carrying out a routine electrical fixed wire inspection and test  at a commercial property. Although this fault was found in a plant room where there is no public access, to workers it poses a significant risk of electric shock with exposed live terminals.

The engineer effected an immediate temporary repair to make this safe, by covering the exposed live terminals and open terminal box with insulating tape to prevent anyone touching the terminals.

The fault was then formally reported to the customer on a Veriserv “immediate” report which would be signed by the customer to acknowledge the fault and act as a hard copy reminder to facilitate a remedial repair. The “immediate report” is a useful way of immediately notifying a customer of all faults found during the fixed wire inspection and test by noting the category of faults helping our customer understand how to prioritise the remedial repairs. All category 1 faults such as this would need immediate rectification or temporary repair, otherwise the circuit would need to be isolated to make safe until a repair can be completed. All Veriserv engineers would provide expert advice and recommendation whilst on site. This is important as the full inspection & test report would follow later. If you need advise please call us on 01543 225306 or complete an Contact us form.

The Electricity at work regulations 1989 sit under the Health & Safety at work act 1974 and impose duties on employers and “duty holders” in respect to electrical systems, electrical equipment and conductors.

The purpose of the regulations is to is to prevent death or personal injury to any person from electrical causes in connection with work activities.

Employers and self employed people must comply with the provisions of the Electricity at work regulations 1989. Regulation 4 (2) states that as necessary to prevent danger , all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent , so far as reasonably practicable , such danger.

A duty holder can demonstrate compliance with the regulations, in respect to their electrical installation, by carrying out an electrical fixed wire inspection and test. As Veriserv are an NICEIC accredited company, we are experts in this area and are happy to advise you on the frequency, scope and cost of the test, having first considered the environment and use of the premises concerned.

If you need advise please call us on 01543 225306 or complete a Contact us form.


Portable Appliance Testing, Overheated Plug Socket

One good reason to have your portable appliance testing (PAT) carried out. Our fault of the week is a good example of a multi socket electrical extension lead that has become overheated with early signs of burning.

This fault was found by a Veriserv engineer during an annual portable appliance test (PAT) . The socket has become overheated. This could be caused by a loose connection or as a result of supplying an appliance which uses power in excess of the extension leads recommended maximum limit. Most extension leads of this type are rated at 13 amps so this means you should not plug more than one 13amp appliance into the extension socket at the same time. Multiple appliances should be rated at 5 amps.

The plug which connected to the overheated socket is shown below.

It is important that all appliances are fitted with a fuse which is correctly rated for the appliance it powers. A new portable appliance will already be fitted with a sealed plug and correctly rated fuse. The plug shown in this photo is the type that has probably been fitted at a later date. It is important that the fuse rating is checked during the portable appliance test. Veriserv engineers would check this during the test and replace if necessary.

As a result of the PAT test by Veriserv the overheated extension lead and plug would be taken out of service and reported immediately to our customer.

In the work place all portable electrical equipment should be subject to  ‘User Checks’ however in this case it seems the deterioration of this piece of equipment has gone unnoticed. Ideally in this situation, as soon as any damaged is noticed the piece of equipment should be switched off and taken out of service.

In any event, in the workplace it should not be acceptable for a defect to go unnoticed, therefore the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) recommend that formal visual inspections are undertaken periodically by a competent person to identify these hazardous items.

All Veriserv PAT engineers are qualified to the City & Guilds 2377 Level 3 award in the in service inspection and testing of electrical equipment (PAT) 

If you need advice on Portable Appliance Testing please feel free to request a quotation or call Veriserv directly on: 01543 225306.

Useful References:

The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) publish guidance for the maintenance of portable appliances

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) provide useful guidance on Portable Appliance Testing  

IET Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment Chapter 15.8

Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 Regulation 5
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, Regulation 4(1)

If you need advice on Portable Appliance Testing please feel free to request a quotation or call Veriserv directly on: 01543 225306.