A daunting process
Fixed wire testing is one of those phrases that usually provokes a negative response from facilities managers and business owners. Whilst the majority of people are fully aware that is something they need to do, staying on top of it and managing it can be a very daunting process. Especially for those with large sites or multiple locations. It is however still the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all electrical wiring complies with regulations, namely the EICR.
The EICR, formerly the periodic inspection report, is a full and detailed report of the condition of the electrical wiring installations in a building. The periodic inspection report wasn’t as detailed as the EICR, however, so employers now need to provide a lot more information, clearly highlighting the areas that need urgent remedial action.
This is in place to help maintain a safe working environment for employees, avoid the accidents and injuries that can occur as a result of overloading, deterioration or damages that may appear in electrical installations over time. Equally ever since the recent review of building regulations in the UK, insurance companies are asking Landlords for documentation to prove they are meeting regulatory standards. Failure to comply to the EICR can lead to heavy fines and at its most serious – prosecution.
Should I be worried?
Terms such as “prosecution” don’t help things feel any less daunting! Unfortunately, a lot of people complain that talking about the worst-case scenario feels like “fearmongering”. However, incidents of this kind are also not as rare as they seem, with the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) stating that 1000 electrical accidents at work are reported to HSE each year and about 25 people die of their injuries. The reality is that the risk is high and the penalties of not meeting legal requirements are severe. As well as legal risks, in an age of online communication and social media the negative PR impact that could come from not meeting these regulations could be disastrous for a business.
In an EICR, faults and non-compliance issues are coded depending on their severity. C1 represents immediate danger, C2 highlights a potentially dangerous condition and C3 is where safety improvements are recommended in order to meet current regulations. F1 is also used when the inspection reveals an apparent deficiency that could not be fully identified. When C1, C2 and F1 issues are present an installation is labelled ‘unsatisfactory’ and remedial action need to be taken to prevent the risk of fire or injury.
The system is designed to give employers the opportunity to fix problems before they become high risk. Whilst the implications are serious, the EICR was created to help facilities managers and business owners resolve any issues before they reach a critical decision. You shouldn’t feel scared by EICR, you should see it as an opportunity to get on top of your electrical testing.
What can business owners do?
For a number of years Quicklight has been advising customers of 6 simple steps that businesses can take to protect themselves. These steps have stood the test of time and continue to help those worrying about fixed wire testing:
- Audit your sites: list when each site was last inspected to identify priorities and first steps
- Choose a qualified contractor: it is important to remember that a contractor should be accredited by the NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) otherwise they will not be authorised to issue the NICEIC certification
- Survey sites and produce a budget: now that sites are in priority order you can arrange extensive surveys that and cover all aspects of EICR. The contractor should then estimate the time involved to complete the work, meaning a schedule can be pulled together.
- Carry out the work: any good contractor will appreciate that work needs to be undertaken in the least disruptive manner possible. Careful planning should be to make sure the work is completed efficiently with minimum disruptions.
- Obtain certification: once testing is complete, an EICR is issued. As discussed this will detail the areas that need remedial work or urgent repair.
- Carry out remedial repairs: to become fully compliant and meet legal requirements this work will need to be completed and documented.
How Quicklight can help you
Quicklight is very proud of the service it provides for its customers when it comes to Fix Wire Testing. We are able to manage and complete all six steps highlighted above, taking the stress and worry away from clients looking at EICR.
We offer a planned, flexible solution that is tailored to your specific needs and requirements. If required, we perform the appropriate tests during shut-down periods or out of hours and will always prioritise the areas that need to be addressed first. This minimises the disruption and leads to full compliance.
Contact us today to discuss any EICR requirements or concerns you may have. You call 0800 917 721 to find out more about our other services. You can also email [email protected]