ELECTRICAL SAFETY By Ashleigh Howlett
Electricity kills and injures people. Around 1000 electrical accidents at work are reported to HSE each year and about 25 people die of their injuries. Electrical Safety At Work!! Two of the most important pieces of health and safety legislation affecting educational establishments across the UK are the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. These set the standards that must be met to ensure the health and safety of all employees and others who may be affected by any work activity. Other regulations also exist to cover work activities that carry specific risks, for example lifting and carrying, computer work and electricity.
Points On Electrical Safety!! • The use, inspection, maintenance and repair of electrical equipment and installations in schools and colleges is legally required to be managed effectively. • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 place a duty on employers to carry out risk assessments, which involves identifying hazards in the workplace, including those electrical. • The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, which apply to all educational establishments, require employers to assess activities taking place on or near electrical systems that may lead to danger and/or personal injury. • These regulations make it clear that the maintenance and repair of electrical equipment must be carried out by competent persons under a planned programme of work (see inspection and testing below). Many local authorities undertake this work for their schools. ATL advises its members that they should not be required to carry out such work. • It may be reasonable, however, for teaching and non-teaching staff to undertake a primary and routine inspection of electrical equipment prior to use by them or by students. This is to establish that the equipment at least looks to be in good working order, eg examining a plug before connecting it to the power supply. • All staff should be fully trained in the use of any electrical equipment they will be operating. • All educational establishments should have a written policy specifically relating to electricity. It should also detail the visual checks to be conducted by all staff before using any electrical equipment.
Points On House Safety!! • There is a point to ensuring the safety of children while they are playing in a garden though, as long as it's not taken to ridiculous extremes. Children cannot be so over protected that they are unable to enjoy themselves and they will always fall over or hurt themselves in innocent play. But it does make sense to protect them from the most basic dangers. • With a play house or Wendy house in the garden this means making sure that the structure itself is safe, that any stairs or other play equipment are robust enough to take the weight of children and that there aren't any nasty sharp edges that can cut into the skin.