Globally, Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting the lives of many businesses and individuals. Employers are implementing policies and procedures never seen before to help ensure businesses survive. These are trying times, but the usual bulldog British spirit is already shining through.
As the virus takes hold, people are going into isolation, and those with key skills are being called upon to help the nation. A small army of tradespersons, technicians and engineers will be required to keep the lights burning – essential tasks necessary to allow us all to keep going.
Electrical safety remains critical
The pressures placed on electrical systems, and those who keep them operating, will increase. As such, the need for people to work safely is just as important in this crisis as it ever was. The security and functionality of electrical distribution systems and supplies to machinery, heating and lighting is now vitally important, as is protecting those who are charged with keeping it all in order.
Health and safety laws continue to be enforced, notably the legal requirement to ensure companies have Safe Systems of Work according to Regulation 4(3) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. Due to the recent COVID19 outbreak, the pressure to cut corners or simply forget about electrical safety grows. Whilst immediate reactions are required in the interest of business survival through this pandemic, the risk of non compliance still remains. An incident on-site resulting in injury or a visit from an enforcing officer still remains a business’s greatest risk. This could result in the Electrical Duty Holder being held legally responsible for the lack of compliance and putting their employees at risk, thus resulting in hefty fines, prosecution, brand damage or loss of business altogether.
A great time to review procedures and practice
Good health and safety management makes good business sense! This is especially true as the available electrical workforce contracts, and the pressure on those that remain increases. Robust electrical safety rules and supporting procedures are paramount. Now is an ideal time to review them, taking into account the changes that we may have to implement in the way that we work. Review of supporting procedures includes risk assessment, notably arc flash risk assessment, which will influence the way that we carry out work.
Many companies are now implementing bans on non-essential travel and gatherings, so will this make an electrical safety management review impossible to do? No, certainly not: with a few tweaks and changes in how we work, these programmes can still be implemented and maintained.
In recent years, a growing number of businesses have been discovering the advantages of various online communication platforms available. Tools such as Skype, Webex and Microsoft Teams are being used more and more, replacing the need for face to face meetings. The technology is there to harness. Now companies must use it to ensure business continuity and compliance.
Getting around issues presented by COVID-19
How is Electrical Safety UK responding to the recent travel and site restrictions?
- Conference Calls and Microsoft Teams are being used to reduce the requirement for face to face meetings, and are helping our clients to receive essential training solutions through video conferencing and online training portal solutions.
- Solutions are being forged with clients to reduce the requirement for site visits so essential Arc Flash Risk Assessments and Studies can be completed.
- Free Electrical Safety Desktop Audits and Arc Flash Pre-Assessment visits are being held over video conference facilities.
- All documentation is being transmitted safely by email and / or via WeTransfer systems.
How can Electrical Safety UK help us in ensuring compliance in this time?
Achieving compliance with legislation such as the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 can be a complex and challenging task. Even more so through a pandemic.
ESUK is offering a FREE desktop audit to discuss and review areas of compliance & highlight areas for attention. This is all done at a distance from anywhere you are working in the world.
The Desktop audit is a comprehensive check of your safe systems of work and their compliance with a range of Regulations. During the audit our Senior Electrical Engineers will review:
- The structure and activities of your business;
- The electrical work undertaken by your business;
- How you manage electrical work;
- How you maintain your systems;
- The competency of your staff and contractors;
- Your electrical/mechanical policies and procedures.
There is also time to discuss any concerns you may have, or ideas for improvement which you may be unsure of how to implement. Unfortunately, if neglected, leaving such procedures until the uncertain termination of Coronavirus, which could take months, may leave your businesses in more trouble in the long run.
Electrical Safety UK Ltd prides itself on thinking ‘outside of the box’ to meet our client needs; we are ever-changing and adjusting our methods to find the perfect solution for our clients. Our seasoned experience and flexibility ensure customers needs and expectations are met and exceeded (view our Case Studies). These are difficult times for many businesses but you can rest assured that we’ll make sure to find a solution to your Electrical Safety Management needs as industries continue to require training and assessments through COVID-19. Contact us now to discuss your risks and solutions.