Chairman of The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers and NAPIT Group’s Chief Technical Officer Frank Bertie discusses his involvement with The Electrical Safety Roundtable and their launch of the 6th Point of PPE Lock-Off Kit, Safe Isolation infographic.
I have been attending The Electrical Safety Roundtable (ESR) in the Workplace meetings since its inception in November 2018. The stakeholder group was brought together to link representatives from the electrical industry who are responsible for electrical safety within the workplace and the group provides industry support and policy solutions to improve Electrical Safety in places of work. The assortment of individuals that attend the group create interesting discussions and bring wide ranging viewpoints from different sectors.
At the start of this year the participants discussed the key electrical safety concerns in the workplace and agreed a major concern was around Safe Isolation. It was shocking to learn that an average of 250 people are injured by electricity, or electrical discharge while at work every year, and that 25% of electricians rarely or never use a lock out kit to isolate the electrical supply they are working on, so creating some guidance seemed essential. In response to this it was decided that it would be beneficial to develop a new infographic: The 6th point of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Lock-Off Kit, incorporating the 12 Easy Steps to Safe Isolation. The infographic was completed at the start of spring 2020 and since then we have seen ourselves in unprecedented times with the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, however the dangers surrounding electricity never went away.
This guidance has been created to provide support on safe isolation to anyone carrying out electrical work within a workplace environment to ensure that workers on site are not exposed to potentially fatal danger when carrying out work on live electrical systems. Safe isolation is a necessary process undertaken by competent electrical installers to safely isolate electrical circuits or equipment, prior to undertaking electrical work. Numerous incidents are still reported of electrical shocks that can cause serious burns, and in certain circumstances fatality. It has been reported that 1 in 5 electrical tradespeople do not carry a lock-out kit in their van or tool bag.
The roundtable created the infographic with the assistance of Louise Taggart. Louise is an influential health and safety campaigner who sadly lost her brother Michael in 2005 as a result of an electrical incident at work, which should and could have been prevented. Michael Adamson was a 26-year-old electrician who had plenty of experience behind him. Michael cut a cable which was marked ‘NOT IN USE’, however it was in fact wired into a distribution board and was not safely isolated. Michaels story has been a massive influence throughout the creation of this infographic. It is now the goal of the group to promote this infographic extensively and make sure safe isolation is common practice to avoid devastating accidents like this happening in the future.
It’s been great to work with participants of this group and to share first-hand knowledge and technical expertise throughout the process of creating the 6th Point PPE and 12 Steps to Safe Isolation Infographic. I look forward to continuing to engage positively with stakeholders with a united vision of improving electrical safety in the workplace.
The infographic is now available to view & free to download here, we encourage this to be displayed wherever it would add value, and if you require any further information regarding the infographic or what the ESR do, then to contact the ESR directly: http://www.electricalsafetyroundtable.co.uk/contact-us.aspx