For keeping workers safe from the dangers of electricity, few methods can compare to fixed wire testing. Many companies are obligated by law to carry it out at certain intervals. The truth, however, is all companies with commercial buildings should institute fixed wire testing in order to keep workers safe, the building maintained and to avoid the financial liabilities that stray electricity can cause.
How Often Should My Company Conduct Fixed Wire Testing?
The answer to this question depends on any laws affecting your company. This is most likely a question for legal or human resources. If no laws govern its administration or schedule, then it’s a choice you’ll need to make. For the most part, though, it will depend on the work environment.
Construction sites should be tested every three months, given the higher likelihood of exposed wires. Petrol stations should receive testing at least once a year. They have a far less likelihood of exposed wires, but they also have a huge amount of flammable fuel around at any one time.
Industrial sites should be tested once every three years given the amount of electricity flowing at any one time. Farms and other agricultural sites, especially large commercial establishments, should have testing done every three years. Commercial buildings can go five years before they should be tested and homes and apartments only need it once every ten years.
Even if your company is not required by law and you don’t feel your business is at risk, it’s good to stick to the above guidelines. If an electrical accident were to occur, a record of the testing might help save you from legal consequences.
What Does Fixed Wire Testing Entail?
Fixed Wire Testing must be carried out by a competent individual who is knowledgeable when it comes to electric wiring. While it’s possible to elect someone from the company to be in charge, this is rarely a good idea. Unless the person has some experience from a former profession or another job, the chances that they will carry it out correctly are minimal. Not only will your company still be at risk of an electrical accident, but you will probably be found liable for allowing an inexperienced person to carry it out.
When Fixed Wire Testing is administered, all the electrical circuits within your building must be tested. This goes for any other systems in your work environment that conduct electricity for any reason. Again, you’ll want to check the actual laws that apply in your area, but some concessions are made for newer buildings, buildings with no documented incidents and buildings that pass a simpler test.
No company likes interrupting normal business operations, but sometimes it simply has to be done. Think of Fixed Wire Testing the same as you do a fire drill or other mandatory routine. Although it’s very unlikely the practice will ever be called upon in a real scenario, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Fixed Wire Testing could save a life someday or even just a circuit board.
Louisa Jenkins is a freelance workplace health and safety blogger. She blogs on the importance of all sorts of work safety topics, including the important if Fixed Wire Testing provided by companies including Elecheck.co.uk.