Guardian Electrical Compliance

Specialising in fixed wire inspection and testing, Guardian Electrical offer expert support and advice.

As a duty holder, it is imperative that you recognise the important aspects of your job and how to comply with your legal responsibilities regarding Inspection & Testing. This page has been written by industry professionals; therefore all the legal and practical elements on these pages are expressed in electrical terms.

What is the Guardian Solution? 

Considering the ABSOLUTE requirements of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, and the many years of experience our staff have in delivering inspection & testing programmes; we are in a unique position to deliver a bespoke service to suit your environment in order to satisfy the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

However, as a general approach, assuming you have not constituted accurate records, we would suggest the following:

  • Electrical Network Drawings
    Undertake electrical network drawings to identify and label the detail of your LV system in order to comply with Regulation 12 (ABSOLUTE) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (methods of identifying circuits).
  • 100% Inspection & Testing as far as reasonably practicable (ASFARP)
    Whilst drawing the electrical network, any dangerous electrical conditions will be highlighted immediately to the duty holder for corrective action. This approach will also serve to identify and prioritise areas for testing.
  • Corrective action on dangerous electrical non-compliances
    Taking an industrial environment, a programme of testing can commence on either a one year (whole site) or three year (third of site each year) depending on your management decision making process or budgetary requirements. The HSE would never countenance a three year programme; they would look at your situation in isolation. It has however become accepted practice.
  • Electronic Records
    Paragraph 69 advises that test results should be kept throughout the working life of a system to evidence maintenance. Our unique web based system allows results to be uploaded on an ‘anytime’ basis. Clients can interact with the TraQ-it™ website using a bespoke hierarchy of permissions, enabling a high level of duty holder control.

Example

A three year programme of inspection and testing is best illustrated in the following table:

YEAR SITE ACTIVITY RETEST DEFENCE
2017 Complete Network Drawings of whole site – Label Switchgear Identify dangerous non-compliances and advise client Commence Inspection and Testing on agreed areas Upload Network Drawing and Records to Interactive Website After completion of three year programme, a reduced level of testing will be undertaken and records updated throughout 2017-2019 with relevant reduction in cost Regulation 29 Applies
2018 Update Network Drawings as instructed Identify dangerous non-compliances and advise client Continue Inspection and Testing on agreed areas Upload Network Drawing and Records to Interactive Website
2019 Update Network Drawings as instructed Identify dangerous non-compliances and advise client Complete Inspection and Testing programme Upload Network Drawing and Records to Interactive Website

I am a Duty Holder: What are my responsibilities in relation to fixed wire inspection & testing?

Under Regulation 3 (Absolute) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, it is the DUTY of every employee while at work to comply with the provisions of the regulations in so far as they relate to matters which are within their control.

Where in the regulations does it state I have to inspect and test my installation?

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 does not specifically state that inspection and testing has to be undertaken. However, Regulations 4(1) and 4(2) do state that an electrical installation should be designed, installed, operated and maintained in a safe manner at all times. In other words, your electrical installation has to remain safe from the drawing board to de-commissioning, and you have to evidence this! Paragraph 69 of 4(1) and 4(2) state:

“Records of maintenance, including test results, preferably kept throughout the working life of an electrical system will enable the condition of equipment and the effectiveness of maintenance policies to be monitored. WITHOUT EFFECTIVE MONITORING, DUTYHOLDERS CANNOT BE CERTAIN THAT THE REQUIREMENT FOR MAINTENANCE HAS BEEN COMPLIED WITH.”

More importantly, the following regulations are ABSOLUTE (i.e. requirement to be met regardless of cost) and compliance with them can only be achieved by inspection and testing programmes or documented routine maintenance:

SIX ABSOLUTE REASONS TO INSPECT AND TEST
Regulation Status Evidence Defence
Regulation 5
Strength & Capability of Electrical Equipment
ABSOLUTE Documented Testing – PFC Test Regulation 29 Applies
Regulation 8
Earthing or other Suitable Precautions
ABSOLUTE Documented Inspection and Testing – EFLI and Continuity Test Regulation 29 Applies
Regulation 9
Integrity of Referenced Conductors
ABSOLUTE Documented Inspection and Testing – EFLI and Continuity Test Regulation 29 Applies
Regulation 10
Joints and Connections to be fit for purpose
ABSOLUTE Documented Inspection Regulation 29 Applies
Regulation 11
Means of Protecting from Excess of Current
ABSOLUTE Documented Inspection and Testing – RCD Test Regulation 29 Applies
Regulation 12
Means for cutting off the supply and for IsolationIdentifying and Labeling the LV Distribution System
ABSOLUTE Documented InspectionSchematic Drawings and Labelling System Regulation 29 Applies

Duty Holder Defence: How can I comply with the SIX ABSOLUTE Regulations under the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989?

Implement an inspection and testing programme which will provide a defence in criminal proceedings for the duty holder to demonstrate due diligence with respect to maintenance of the electrical installation and avoid committing an offence under the relevant regulations.