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Places a legal responsibility on employers and employees, as duty holders, to ensure that electrical systems used at work under their control are safe.

Legal Requirements:

 

To achieve compliance with the legal requirements of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 requires proof that an electrical system is safe, which involves amongst other things, proper inspection and testing of a system by competent people and the creation and maintenance of records.

Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 is law in the United Kingdom.

Electricity At Work Regulations 1989 (EAWR)

The regulations as stated below are an overview of the UK regulations. For a comprehensive guide please refer to the latest version of the HSE document "Memorandum of Guidance on the Electricity At Work Regulations" - available from HMSO or technical bookshops.

PART I

INTRODUCTION

      Citation and commencement

 

    1. These Regulations may be cited as the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and shall come into force on 1st April 1990.
      • "approved" means approved in writing for the time being by the Health and Safety Executive for the purposes of these Regulations or conforming with a specification approved in writing by the Health and Safety Executive for the purposes of these Regulations;
        "circuit conductor" means any conductor in a system which is intended to carry electric current in normal conditions, or to be energised in normal conditions, and includes a combined neutral and earth conductor, but does not include a conductor provided solely to perform a protective function by connection to earth or other reference point;
        "conductor" means a conductor of electrical energy;
        "danger" means risk of injury;
        "electrical equipment" includes anything used, intended to be used or installed for use, to generate, provide, transmit, transform, rectify, convert, conduct, distribute, control, store, measure or use electrical energy;
        "firedamp" means any flammable gas or any flammable mixture of gases occurring naturally in a mine;
        "injury" means death or personal injury from electric shock, electric burn, electrical explosion or arcing, or from fire or explosion initiated by electrical energy, where any such death or injury is associated with the generation, provision, transmission, transformation, rectification, conversion, conduction, distribution, control, storage, measurement or use of electrical energy;
        • (a) any coal mine; or
          • (i) there has occurred below ground an ignition of firedamp; or
            • "system" means an electrical system in which all the electrical equipment is, or may be, electrically connected to a common source of electrical energy, and includes such source and such equipment.
          • (ii) more than 0.25% by volume of firedamp is found on any occasion at any place below ground in the mine;
        • (b) any other mine in which-
      • "safety-lamp mine" means-
        (a) a numbered regulation or Schedule is a reference to the regulation or Schedule in these Regulations so numbered;
        (b) a numbered paragraph is a reference to the paragraph so numbered in the regulation or Schedule in which the reference appears.
    • Interpretation

 

      2.—(1) In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires-

 

    (2) Unless the context otherwise requires, any reference in these Regulations to-
    • (a) employer and self-employed person to comply with the provisions of these Regulations in so far as they relate to matters which are within his control; and
      (b) manager of a mine or quarry (within in either case the meaning of section 180 of the Mines and Quarries Act 1954 to ensure that all requirements or prohibitions imposed by or under these Regulations are complied with in so far as they relate to the mine or quarry or part of a quarry of which he is the manager and to matters which are within his control.
      (a) to co-operate with his employer so far as is necessary to enable any duty placed on that employer by the provisions of these Regulations to be complied with; and
      (b) to comply with the provisions of these Regulations in so far as they relate to matters which are within his control.
  • Persons on whom duties are imposed by these Regulations

3.—(1) Except where otherwise expressly provided in these Regulations, it shall be the duty of every-

    (a) employer and self-employed person to comply with the provisions of these Regulations in so far as they relate to matters which are within his control; and
    (b) manager of a mine or quarry (within in either case the meaning of section 180 of the Mines and Quarries Act 1954 to ensure that all requirements or prohibitions imposed by or under these Regulations are complied with in so far as they relate to the mine or quarry or part of a quarry of which he is the manager and to matters which are within his control.


(2) It shall be the duty of every employee while at work-

    (a) to co -operate with his employer so far as is necessary to enable any duty placed on that employer by the provisions of these Regulations to be complied with; and
    (b) to comply with the provisions of these Regulations in so far as they relate to matters which are within his control.

GENERAL

        Systems, work activities and protective equipment

 

        4.—(1) All systems shall at all times be of such construction as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, danger.

(2) As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, such danger.

(3) Every work activity, including operation, use and maintenance of a system and work near a system, shall be carried out in such a manner as not to give rise, so far as is reasonably practicable, to danger.

(4) Any equipment provided under these Regulations for the purpose of protecting persons at work on or near electrical equipment shall be suitable for the use for which it is provided, be maintained in a condition suitable for that use, and be properly used.

        Strength and capability of electrical equipment

 

        5. No electrical equipment shall be put into use where its strength and capability may be exceeded in such a way as may give rise to danger.
        • (a) mechanical damage;
          (b) the effects of the weather, natural hazards, temperature or pressure;
          (c) the effects of wet, dirty, dusty or corrosive conditions; or
          (d) any flammable or explosive substance, including dusts, vapours or gases,
      • Adverse or hazardous environments

 

        6. Electrical equipment which may reasonably foreseeably be exposed to-shall be of such construction or as necessary protected as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, danger arising from such exposure.
        • (a) be suitably covered with insulating material and as necessary protected so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, danger; or
          (b) have such precautions taken in respect of them (including, where appropriate, their being suitably placed) as will prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, danger.
      • Insulation, protection and placing of conductors

 

        7. All conductors in a system which may give rise to danger shall either-
        Earthing or other suitable precautions

 

        8. Precautions shall be taken, either by earthing or by other suitable means, to prevent danger arising when any conductor (other than a circuit conductor) which may reasonably foreseeably become charged as a result of either the use of a system, or a fault in a system, becomes so charged; and, for the purposes of ensuring compliance with this regulation, a conductor shall be regarded as earthed when it is connected to the general mass of earth by conductors of sufficient strength and current-carrying capability to discharge electrical energy to earth.
        Integrity of referenced conductors

 

        9. If a circuit conductor is connected to earth or to any other reference point, nothing which might reasonably be expected to give rise to danger by breaking the electrical continuity or introducing high impedance shall be placed in that conductor unless suitable precautions are taken to prevent that danger.
        Connections

 

        10. Where necessary to prevent danger, every joint and connection in a system shall be mechanically and electrically suitable for use.
        Means for protecting from excess of current

 

        11. Efficient means, suitably located, shall be provided for protecting from excess of current every part of a system as may be necessary to prevent danger.
        • (a) cutting off the supply of electrical energy to any electrical equipment; and
          (b) the isolation of any electrical equipment.
      • Means for cutting off the supply and for isolation

 

        12.—(1) Subject to paragraph (3), where necessary to prevent danger, suitable means (including, where appropriate, methods of identifying circuits) shall be available for-

 

        (2) In paragraph (1), "isolation" means the disconnection and separation of the electrical equipment from every source of electrical energy in such a way that this disconnection and separation is secure.

(3) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to electrical equipment which is itself a source of electrical energy but, in such a case as is necessary, precautions shall be taken to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, danger.

        Precautions for work on equipment made dead

 

        13. Adequate precautions shall be taken to prevent electrical equipment, which has been made dead in order to prevent danger while work is carried out on or near that equipment, from becoming electrically charged during that work if danger may thereby arise.
        • (a) it is unreasonable in all the circumstances for it to be dead; and
          (b) it is reasonable in all the circumstances for him to be at work on or near it while it is live; and
          (c) suitable precautions (including where necessary the provision of suitable protective equipment) are taken to prevent injury.
      • Work on or near live conductors

 

        14. No person shall be engaged in any work activity on or so near any live conductor (other than one suitably covered with insulating material so as to prevent danger) that danger may arise unless-
        Working space, access and lighting

 

        15. For the purposes of enabling injury to be prevented, adequate working space, adequate means of access, and adequate lighting shall be provided at all electrical equipment on which or near which work is being done in circumstances which may give rise to danger.

Persons to be competent to prevent danger and injury
16. No person shall be engaged in any work activity where technical knowledge or experience is necessary to prevent danger or, where appropriate, injury, unless he possesses such knowledge or experience, or is under such degree of supervision as may be appropriate having regard to the nature of the work.

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