A Brief Guide to UK Regulations

HSE states that there are approximately 1000 electrical related reportable accidents each year in the UK and about 25 people die of their injuries.

This guide has been written to provide basic information about some of the main legislation that businesses and individuals should be aware of. Any information should be cross referenced with other sources such as HSE.

Alterations to Electrical Installations

Part P and Building Regulations specify that new electrical installations must be designed, constructed, inspected, tested and certificated to meet the requirements of BS 7671: 2015 and any future updates and amendments to these regulations.

All NICEIC registered companies comply with these regulations. You can confirm that a contractor meets these regulations by searching at the Local Authority Building Control website: www.competentperson.co.uk.

Electrical Machines and Appliances in Businesses

All businesses' general and fire risk assessments must consider the use of electrical devices in the work place and procedures to minimise the risk. HSE has written a guide for writing a risk assessment for electrical devices.

Emergency Lighting

General fire safety in England and Wales is delivered through compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

It requires owners of community, industrial and business premises to carry out a fire safety risk assessment and implement appropriate fire precautionary and protection measures and to maintain a fire management plan.

One of the issues that the fire risk assessment must address is emergency lighting in any rooms where loss of mains powered lighting would hinder escape. Most emergency lighting also requires testing by a qualified person and the battery changing every three years, this information would be available on the data sheets from the manufacturer and would form part of the fire management plan. HSE Advice: Fire Risk Assessments.

Periodic Testing

All electrical systems deteriorate with age and use and all electrical systems should be tested on a scheduled basis to ensure compliance with BS 7671. Insurance Companies often require certification of this testing regime.

This information is provided for guidance. Individual businesses may have machinery or processes that lead to electrical systems deteriorating at a faster rate than usual. This must be assessed by a competent person on a individual basis and it will form part of the premises' risk assessment.

  • Domestic properties should be tested every 10 years and at change of occupancy.
  • Industrial Properties should be tested every 3 years.
  • Commercial Properties such as offices, shops, and laboratories should be tested every 5 years.
  • Caravan parks, marinas, petrol stations and launderettes should be tested annually.

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