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Complete Electrical Compliance Checklist for UK Businesses

Posted in
Date
19/05/2021
complete electrical compliance checklist for uk businesses

Electrical compliance is an essential consideration if you want to keep your workplace safe and avoid the risk of closure or financial penalties. But where exactly do you start?

For a business manager or owner who has a lot of other things to focus on, electrical compliance can seem overwhelming. That’s where we can help. Read on for our simple five-point electrical compliance checklist for UK businesses, followed by three steps to keep things running smoothly.

Electrical compliance – checklist of tasks

First, let’s look at the different areas of your business site that need to be compliant with electrical standards and regulations.

1. Electrical system

The first box to tick when it comes to electrical compliance is for your electrical system. An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is required periodically, and some properties need EICRs more often than others.

This ultimately depends on how high-risk the environment is. The more risk, the more frequently EICRs need to be carried out. As an example, a public space like a swimming pool or cinema might require annual testing, whereas five years may be the recommended frequency for a care home or hotel.

While it’s not a legal obligation unless you’re a landlord, failing to keep your electrical installation in order could leave you in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) and result in hefty fines.

2. Electrical appliances

Many of the electrical compliance checklists you find online comprise a long list of electrical appliances you should check for issues – from air conditioners to lighting. The problem? This doesn’t do anything for compliance.

The 1989 Electricity at Work Regulations state that employers are responsible for ensuring electrical items are well maintained and safe to operate. The best way to remain compliant is through regular PAT testing.

Depending on the type of equipment, how often it’s used and where it’s used, electrical appliances should be PAT tested every three months to four years. The check is incredibly quick, taking a few minutes per appliance. It includes a visual inspection plus tests for earthing, insulation and polarity.

3. Fire alarms

When it comes to fire alarms, the regulation you’ll want to stay on the right side of, is the Fire Safety Order. In short, you’ll need to make sure you have the right number and type of alarms installed, and keep them well maintained with tests twice a year, so they’re ready to respond in the event of a fire.

Failure to keep fire alarms in good working order could result in a fine of up to £5,000 for minor cases, with unlimited fines and up to two years in prison for major penalties.

4. Emergency lighting

Non-domestic buildings are legally required to be safe at all times, even when mains power fails. That’s where emergency lighting comes into play, which needs to be installed and maintained in line with BS 5266 standards.

To keep your company completely safe, you should have emergency lights serviced at least once a year, including a full three-hour duration test.

5. Energy compliance

In recent years, energy use has become another key aspect of compliance for businesses to consider. The Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) came into force in 2014, before Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) was introduced in 2019.

SECR is required annually, while ESOS assessments must be completed every four years. Both apply to companies with more than 250 employees, or those who meet the criteria for annual turnover, so it’s important to check your eligibility.

Maintaining electrical compliance – checklist for businesses

electrical compliance checklist

Onto our next electrical compliance checklist, covering how you can keep compliance simple for all of the areas above.

Finding a contractor

The first task is finding a trusted contractor to keep your site electrically compliant. The most important factors to consider are:

  • Qualifications – Are they trained to complete the necessary inspections and maintenance work?
  • Experience – Do they have experience maintaining electrical compliance for businesses like yours, in terms of both size and sector?
  • Testimonials – Are there trust factors to back up their quality of work, such as accreditations and customer reviews?

You may need multiple contractors to cover different areas. However, some companies have wide-ranging expertise to cover all your needs – like we do at Volta Compliance! This makes your life easier as you have a single point of contact for all your electrical compliance requirements.

Arranging regular inspections

The next job is to arrange regular inspections based on the recommended timeframes, such as fire alarm testing twice a year and emergency lighting tests annually. Your contractor (or contractors) will be able to recommend suitable timeframes for things like PAT testing and EICR.

Ideally, they will also be able to manage compliance on an ongoing basis, so you don’t have to remember when checks are due. With Volta Compliance, you’ll get reminders through our innovative online portal, where you can also access all certificates and paperwork.

Completing repairs promptly

Finally, there’s the small matter of arranging repairs. Electrical repairs are often time-critical to keep your site safe as well as minimising downtime. If a C1 code is listed on your EICR report, for instance, immediate remedial action is required before your site can be used.

By establishing ongoing relationships with expert contractors, you’ll be able to book in any necessary remedial work without delays. This gives you the benefit of continued compliance with minimal disruption to your site. For example, there’s no need to close your workplace while you wait for repairs if wiring is found to be unsafe.

Tick every box with Volta Compliance

If you want to take the hassle out of electrical compliance, Volta Compliance is on hand throughout West Yorkshire. Based in Leeds, we provide a range of vital electrical and energy compliance services to keep your company safe, compliant and completely protected.

For more information, or to speak in more depth about your own electrical compliance checklist, feel free to contact the Volta team today on 0113 397 1361 or email [email protected].

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Richard Carr Volta Compliance
Richard Carr
Managing Director
Richard is the Director of Volta Compliance. He is a fully qualified approved electrician graded with the JIB. Richard has over 20 years electrical experience working on commercial and industrial installations.
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