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About the book
5th edition 2020
Author: J.Eade BEng (Hons) CEng MIET
Size: 63 Mb
Most electrical hazards in the workplace (for example, from damaged flexible cable or broken connectors) can be seen with the naked eye and do not require specialist electrical training or test instruments to identify.
This Code of Practice promotes greater application of 'user checks': basic checks, for example, that can be carried out safely and effectively by members of staff, other than technical employees.
The intervals between formal inspection and testing can take into account users of equipment being more proactive about checking the equipment and reporting faults. A poster is also included to help promote such user checks in the workplace.
To reflect the need for duty holders to assess factors affecting equipment in the workplace, perhaps the most significant change in this edition is that Table 71 Guidance on the initial frequency of inspection and testing of' equipment has been removed, in favor of guidance on risk assessments.
The likelihood of damage to equipment depends on the environment in which the equipment is used, the frequency of its use, the skill of the user, and so on.
For this reason, providing generic guidance on inspection and testing intervals will always be a vexed subject, as every workplace will be different, especially given the breadth of workplaces to which this Code of Practice will apply.
As such, guidance has been given (along with examples) to help the reader consider the risk(s) to which
equipment is exposed, in order to assist them in deciding on an interval for the equipment for which they
The best person to decide on an appropriate inspection and testing regime should be the person responsible for the equipment in question, and this person should know the equipment and the environment in which it is used.
However, the final decision should be made by the duty holder.
There is no right or wrong answer when considering inspection and testing intervals: an appropriate interval is one that is a considered and reasoned judgment based on the risk of damage that might lead to injury or loss (for example, fire) and which, over time, is supported by records.
This edition also provides clarification for equipment that is used for commercial gain hire purposes.
As the methods used to verify the electrical safety of equipment are the same whether equipment is hired or not, this edition considers hired equipment to be within scope.
The Hire Association Europe also provides guidance for its members on equipment testing, such as for tool hire.
A technical change to the classification of hazard levels of voltages and currents has been introduced, following changes to some product safety standards.
The new classifications of ES1, ES2 and ES3 have been introduced, and the standards no longer discuss SELV, PELV, ELV and LV (respectively, separated extra-low voltage, protective extra-low voltage, extra-low voltage and low voltage).
This is reflected throughout this edition and explanatory notes are given in Appendix 3. Readers should be aware that these ES (Energy Source) classes do not relate directly to the requirements for SELV and PELV, and, if it is intended to use them as safety sources for installations complying with BS 767i:2018+A1:2020 Requirements for Electrical Installations, particularly in wet locations such as bathrooms or swimming pools, or other locations with increased human shock risks, such as medical locations, products should be carefully compared with the requirements of BS EN 61140 Protection against electric shock.
Common aspects for installation and equipment for SELV and PELV.
Another technical change relates to the protective conductor continuity test. Previous editions gave information regarding a high-current (hard) test or a low-current (soft) test but did not provide information as to which test was to be preferred or the advantages and disadvantages of either.
Guidance is now included to help determine the appropriate tests to be carried out. They are now referred to as 'high current' and 'low current', rather than 'hard' and 'soft'.
Previously, it was recommended that the high-current test be carried out using a current of at least 1.5 times the plug fuse rating, up to a maximum of 25 A. This did not take into account plugs that were unused.
Different product safety standards require different currents to be used and dedicated test instrument manufacturers have manufactured test instruments that use different currents for the high-current test.
In this edition, a maximum test current limit is specified, and an appropriate one should be selected for the equipment under test.
BS EN 61557-4 Electrical safety in low voltage distribution systems up to 1000 V a.c. and 1500 V d.c. Equipment for testing, measuring or monitoring of protective measures.
Resistance of earth connection and equipotential bonding specifies a protective conductor continuity test current of at least 200 mA, and this is the test current used by the majority of modern battery-powered test instruments.
However, there is still a small risk that a 200 mA continuity test might cause damage to very sensitive equipment (such as where the test current passes through the tracks of a printed circuit board (PCB) for example) and so provision is made for a test current of no less than 20 mA.
It is expected, however, that most 'low current' tests will be carried out at 200 mA.
Finally, there are some new introductions in this Code of Practice, including Class II FE equipment (Class II equipment with functional earth, previously referred to as information technology equipment - ITE), new requirements for 13 A plugs and associated flexes (Section 10), guidance for maintenance of low-risk mobile equipment fixed in server racks and similar applications (Appendix 7), and a guide to basic electrical theory, to assist trainers and others learning how to inspect and test electrical equipment. Some of the terminology used has been modified to bring it into line with that used in electrotechnical standards.
The guidance in this Code of Practice is intended to assist duty holders in meeting the requirements of the EAWR and of the government or local authority, as appropriate. It sets out the relevant requirements of the EAWR and gives guidance.
Although this Code reflects the lET's view of the meaning of terms used in the EAWR, only the Courts can provide a binding interpretation.
The purpose of this Code is to amplify the nature of the precautions in general terms.
This will help to achieve high standards of electrical safety.
The electrical installation
Summary of the objectives of this Code of Practice
4 Equipment scope and the need for maintenance
Equipment covered by this Code of Practice
The electrical installation
Programmed maintenance and periodic inspections
Examples of equipment out of scope of this Code of Practice
Observations on the electrical installation
In-service inspection and testing procedures
5 Training and competence
The test operative
The dutyholder or manager
The person repairing faulty equipment
6 Equipment classifications
Earthed exposed metalwork; Class I
Double or reinforced insulation: Class II
lnlormation, communication and technology equipment (ITE) Class II FE
Energy Source Class 1 (ES1)
Other classes Class 0 and Class OI
Equipment classification summary
7 User checks
8 Formal visual inspection
Suitability of the equipment for the environment
Switching and isolation of equipment
Equipment failing the formal visual inspection
Recording the formal visual inspection
Inspecting hand-held equipment
Inspection of fixed equipment
9 Test instruments
Safety of test equipment
Dedicated equipment testing instruments
Insulation resistance testing
RCD test instruments
10 Electrical tests
The protective conductor continuity test
The insulation resistance test
Protective conductor and touch current measurements
Damaged or faulty equipment
Equipment lead sets and extension leads
High protective conductor currents
Replacement of equipment flexes
BS 1363 plugs and BS 1362 fuses
Equipment that cannot be located
11 The frequency of in-service inspection and testing
Defined risk environments
Review of frequency of inspection and testing
12 Reporting and record-keeping
Damaged or faulty equipment
13 New and third-party equipment
New equipment and appliances
Appendix 1 British Standards
Appendix 2 IP and IK Codes
Appendix 3 Changes to electrical safety terminology and classifications
Background to the changes to SELV
Appendix 4 Model forms
Equipment formal visual inspection and combined inspection and test record
Instrument test record
Appendix 5 Resistances of flexible cables
Appendix 6 User checks and formal visual inspection
Appendix 7 Equipment racks and bays
Inspection and testing
Frequency of maintenance activities
Appendix 8 Electrical units and calculations relating to the inspection and testing of electrical equipment
Electrical unit multiples and sub-multiples
Appendix 9 Example risk assessments