Fusion have created a complete guide to safe and effective commercial electrical installations!
The field of commercial electrical installations is complex and requires an expert to carry out. From understanding the complicated wiring diagrams to making sure everything runs efficiently, a professional commercial electrical installation expert makes sure your wiring will last in the long-term. But, even more importantly, a professional will make sure your wiring is safe.
Four UK citizens died in the workplace recently from electrocution (HSE Workplace Fatalities Report). A further 251 non-fatal electrical accidents were reported to HSE. The fact is improper commercial electrical installation can cause injury and even death.
As a business or service provider, you want to know your employees and the public are safe at your premises. The only way to make sure your electrical installations don’t pose a threat is to hire the right professionals. Only they can ensure safe and effective commercial electrical installations.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the legal obligations around commercial electrical installations. Furthermore, we’ll tell you what to look out for when choosing a contractor who is going to get the job done right.
Regulations are in place to make sure your commercial electrical installations are safe. Contractors must adhere to these regulations in their work and meet the relevant standards of their industry.
They must follow and adhere to:
○ British Standard 7671
○ The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
○ The Building Act 1984 & 2000
There are also a number of voluntary accreditations and schemes a contractor can obtain to further prove their competence and commitment to safe electrical installation. For example, BAFE (the Fire Safety Register) or CHAS (The Contractors’ Health and Safety Assessment Scheme).
BS 7671 outlines the requirements for electrical installations to meet industry standards. It’s regularly updated to cover safe practice for new technologies as they emerge. For example, the 17th edition was amended to include codes of practice for electric vehicle charging and a subsequent edition (18th) covers energy efficiency.
These regulations set out the obligations of employers, employees and the self-employed to work safely with electricity. It outlines duties such as the proper and safe construction of electrical systems, and how to maintain wiring safely.
This Act specifies how buildings should be constructed, including the inner components, i.e. electrical systems.
The ‘Part P’ regulations are a subsection of the Building Act 1984. These were added in 2005. These regulations specifically cover electrical installations. By law, it is the responsibility of the home or business owner, or landlord, to ensure compliance with Part P.
By law, businesses must obtain a commercial electrical installation certificate for wiring on their premises. The only way to get this certificate is to have your commercial electrical work carried out by a registered professional.
You must obtain an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) every time you install new wiring or update or alter existing systems. Only a registered commercial electrical contractor is authorised to issue a valid EIC by confirming your wiring meets Standard BS 7671.
Fusion is one such contractor. You can find us registered on the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) database. We’re well-qualified and verified to make sure your wiring is up to code.
You must carry out a commercial electrical installation inspection every five years. To do this, you’ll need to call in a registered contractor. It is your responsibility to make sure your EIC is up to date. Contact us today if you think you’re due an inspection soon.
It’s important to choose a commercial electrical installation contractor that values health and safety above all else. It can be a grave mistake to hire a contractor who puts profit above safety. You don’t want to take any shortcuts when it comes to your commercial wiring. This can lead to injury, death, and the courts.
Instead, look out for contractors who put health and safety first – for their own employees and for your customers.
For example, we at Fusion take health and safety incredibly seriously. We commit to making sure nobody will ever suffer an injury as a result of our electrical work. We carry out regular extensive equipment checks, follow strict reporting procedures, and carry out the required risk assessments to make sure our work is as safe as can be.
If you need a little more convincing that a contractor is genuinely up to scratch when it comes to safe and effective commercial electrical installations, you’ll want to look out for relevant accreditations. These show a contractor is verified by an external body to do quality work.
Fusion is an NICEIC Approved Contractor, for example. The NICEIC is a governing body in the world of electrical installations. They carry out training and certification, assessing contractors to the highest standards.
We are also CHAS accredited – the Contractors Health & Safety Assessment Scheme. This demonstrates our commitment to health and safety for ourselves and our clients. We’ve gone that extra mile to commit to safe working practice.
As a business, you have your own responsibilities when it comes to electrical safety. We’ve already discussed the importance of getting a commercial electrical installation certificate (EIC) every five years (or when changes are made) to comply with the law.
However, there are other things you must do to make sure you’re meeting your legal requirements. These include:
○ Maintaining electrical installations in safe conditions.
○ Ensuring machinery has an emergency stop function near or on each machine.
○ Clamping loose wires to prevent pulling from terminal.
○ Conducting regular risk assessments.
○ Immediately stopping the use of any equipment you suspect is faulty.
You can find out more about your duties by reading HSE’s Guide, ‘Electrical safety and you’.
If you don’t have a background in electrics, some of the requirements you have when it comes to your wiring can seem vague or simply gibberish. What does it mean to maintain your electrics? What is an RCD and how do I install it? How can I run lighting at a lower voltage?
There are these expectations that you’ll do everything by the book. But what do you do if the book is in a different language?
Fortunately, a professional commercial electrical installer can carry that burden for you. If your main goal is to be compliant and safe, then simply get in touch and let us do the rest. At Fusion, we’ll make sure you’re meeting all your obligations – cutting through the jargon.
We provide a range of necessary services to maintain your electrical systems and comply with HSE law.
Our services include:
○ Electrical inspections and general maintenance (annual or periodic)
○ Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)
○ Emergency lighting testing
○ Fire alarm testing and servicing
○ Servicing existing electrical installations
It is your legal duty as the owner of a commercial property to make sure your electrical installations are safe.
○ Comply with commercial electrical installation regulations
○ Maintain your commercial electrical systems
○ Hire registered and accredited contractors
The importance of contractors for commercial electrical installations
Health and safety law and electrical installation regulations change often. What’s more, they can be difficult to understand if you don’t have a background in the electrical industry. And, even if you do understand everything, only a registered contractor can carry out commercial electrical installations and provide valid EICs.
In short, to make sure you are compliant with the law – and not missing anything out – you must work with a registered contractor. They must carry out an inspection of your electrical systems every five years as a minimum. You also need to call in the professionals every time you add to or amend your electrics.
At Fusion, we are experts on safe commercial electrical installations. As well as complying with the overarching laws and regulations of the industry, we also go further to make sure we uphold the highest codes of practice when it comes to keeping our clients – and yours – safe.
We are an NICEIC approved contractor, BAFE registered, and CHAS accredited. Safety is our paramount concern.
Let us take the worry away. Contact us and speak to a member of our team about your commercial electrical installations. Whether you are seeking an electrical installation certificate (EIC) or whether you have new works in mind, we can help.