Electricity at Work
There are simple precautions when working with, or near electricity that can be taken to significantly reduce the risk of electrical injury to you and others around you.
Detailed in the tabs below you will find Electricity and Work information in place within your Board.
National Services Scotland
Working with electricity and electrical equipment can pose a health and safety risk.
And there is a duty on employers, like NSS, to ensure that all equipment, plant and machinery is adequately maintained in a safe condition so as not to present a risk to its employees or other persons
NSS are also required to ensure that all electrical equipment and electrical supply systems are maintained in a safe condition and that only competent persons are permitted to work with, repair or maintain electrical systems.
NSS Line Managers and employees should familiarise themselves with the information in the tabs below.
If you require additional information you can contact the NSS Health & Safety Advisors through HR Connect Contact Us / Health and Safety.
Below you will find a copy of the risk assessment to be used when dealing with portable electrical appliances within NHS 24.
Our Electrical Safety policy is located here.
Public Health Scotland
Scottish Ambulance Service
This policy acknowledges the requirement of the Scottish Ambulance Service Board to have a clearly defined Safe Working with Electrical Systems Policy:
? To protect staff, contractors and the general public from the hazards of electricity on sites operated by the Scottish Ambulance Service Board;
To monitor the condition of and keep safe all electrical systems;
? To ensure that only full trained and competent persons carry out work on electrical systems;
The policy statement sets out the Scottish Ambulance Service Board's general approach to safe working with electrical systems and the key responsibilities section sets out the main organisational arrangements.
- How often should my electrical equipment be tested?
Electrical equipment should be visually checked to spot early signs of damage or deterioration. Equipment should be more thoroughly tested by a competent person often enough that there is little chance the equipment will become dangerous between tests. Equipment used in a harsh environment should be tested more frequently than equipment that is less likely to become damaged or unsafe.
It is good practice to make a decision on how often each piece of equipment should be checked, write this down, make sure checks are carried out accordingly and write down the results. You should change how often you carry out checks, according to the number and severity of faults found
- What are the common causes of electrical injuries?
The most common electrical injuries are:
- Electric Shock
- Electrical Burns
- Loss of muscle control
- Thermal Burns
The most common electrical injuries are caused by:
- faulty wiring
- poor training
- incorrectly replaced fuses
- mixing water and electricity
- use of overloaded or damaged plugs, sockets or cables
- misuse of equipment or using equipment which is known to be faulty.
Other potential sources can be
- work in or on excavations
- working in wet, harsh or confined conditions
- working on or near overhead lines, for example tipping loads
- working on or near equipment that's thought to be dead but has a live current.
Electricity can also ignite flammable or explosive atmospheres, for example in spray paint booths or around refuelling areas.
- What are the common electrical related hazards?
Those most at risk of an electrical related injury include
- maintenance staff
- those working with electrical plant equipment and machinery
- people working in harsh environments such as construction and agriculture sites.
Employees should only work on or with electrical equipment if they have suitable training, knowledge, experience and supervision.
Voltages over 50 volts AC or 120 volts DC are considered hazardous. Harm can be caused when exposed to 'live parts' or through conducting objects or materials.
Shocks from equipment can cause severe and permanent injuries. Shocks can also cause indirect injuries, such as falls from
- other work platforms.
Faulty or overloaded equipment can lead to fires which can cause damage, injuries and loss of life.
- How can I prevent electrical risks?
You may be able to remove some electrical risks by using tools powered by air, hand or hydraulics. However, be aware that these tools could introduce other hazards for the user.
Lower voltages can reduce or remove the risks of shocks and burns. Battery powered tools are safest. Use lower voltage portable tools at 110 volts. Temporary lighting can also run at lower voltages.
You should use a residual current device or lower voltage tools in harsh environments.