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Electrical Safety

Electrical Safety - Introduction


Electrical equipment is used widely throughout the University by most staff and students, but it is important not to become complacent when using it - If electrical equipment is unsafe and in a poor condition it could cause personal injury, workplace fires or even kill.

Most of these incidents can be avoided by developing good systems and communicating them to all users.

The Legislation

The main legal responsibilities placed on the University of Leeds regarding electrical safety fall under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HASAWA) and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. The main purpose of the regulations is to prevent death or personal injury from electricity in connection with work activities.

A memorandum of guidance on the Electricity at Work Regulations (EWR), published by the Health and Safety Executive, contains practical guidance on how the regulations should be applied. Also the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) has produced guidance on inspecting and testing electrical equipment.

The University of Leeds has a legal duty to ensure all electrical systems (including electrical equipment) are maintained in good condition, in order to prevent danger.

In addition, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998 place a duty on the University to ensure that work equipment is suitable for the purpose for which it is used (Reg. 4), and is maintained in good working order (Reg 5). Also the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSWR) 1999 require the University to carry out activity-based risk assessments.

Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) 2002 impose requirements for eliminating or reducing the risk to safety from fire, explosion or other events arising from the hazardous properties of dangerous substances used at work. In locations where there are combustible dusts or potentially explosive atmospheres, only suitable portable appliances and equipment are permitted.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2006 relate to the purchase and disposal (collection, treatment and recycling) of all electrical equipment.

To enable the University to fulfil its duties under the above legislation, the core standards must be achieved.

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