The Health & Safety Executive states that 25% of all reportable
electrical accidents involve portable appliances. The
Electricity at Work Regulations place a legal responsibility on
employers, employees and self-employed persons to comply with the
provisions of the regulations and take reasonably practicable steps to
ensure that no danger results from the use of such equipment. This in
effect requires the implementation of a systematic and regular program
of maintenance, inspection and testing.
The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) places
such an obligation in the following circumstances:
- Where appliances are used by employees.
- Where the public may use appliances in establishments such as
hospitals, schools, hotels, shops etc.
- Where appliances are supplied or hired.
- Where appliances are repaired or serviced.
The level of inspection and testing required is dependant upon the
risk of the appliance becoming faulty, which is in turn dependant upon
the type of appliance, the nature of its use and the environment in
which it is used.