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Electrical safety in catering

Following on from the successful ‘Gas Safety in Catering Campaign’ that was carried out a few years ago, Inspectors have been discussing electrical safety on food hygiene inspections.

This was an awareness raising health and safety intervention, and businesses are advised to use this information to help them identify and address electrical safety. The following publications provide further information:

Fixed installations

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that electrical systems and equipment must be maintained, so far as reasonably practicable, to prevent danger.

Fixed installations (the wiring and equipment between the supply meter and the point of use, e.g.socket outlets) should be inspected and tested periodically by a competent person to ensure that they are maintained in a safe condition.

The recommended frequency for commercial premises is every five years and the report is now called an Electrical Installation Condition Report, and was previously known as a periodic inspection report.

Who is a competent person?

Businesses must ensure that people working on or with their electrical equipment or systems are ‘competent’ for the task. Competent means having suitable training, skill, and knowledge for the task to prevent injury to themselves and others.

One way to have confidence that an electrical contractor is competent is to choose a contractor who is registered with a trade body such as:

Alternatively businesses must ensure that any person working on electrical equipment is competent to do so and is able to work within the guidelines set out in 'Requirements for electrical installations. IET Wiring Regulations Seventeenth edition'.

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