Risk of electric shock with exposed live terminals

The exposed live terminals , were found by a Veriserv engineer whilst carrying out a routine electrical fixed wire inspection and test  at a commercial property. Although this fault was found in a plant room where there is no public access, to workers it poses a significant risk of electric shock with exposed live terminals.

category 1 electrical fault - Veriserv

The engineer effected an immediate temporary repair to make this safe, by covering the exposed live terminals and open terminal box with insulating tape to prevent anyone touching the terminals.

The fault was then formally reported to the customer on a Veriserv “immediate” report which would be signed by the customer to acknowledge the fault and act as a hard copy reminder to facilitate a remedial repair. The “immediate report” is a useful way of immediately notifying a customer of all faults found during the fixed wire inspection and test by noting the category of faults helping our customer understand how to prioritise the remedial repairs. All category 1 faults such as this would need immediate rectification or temporary repair, otherwise the circuit would need to be isolated to make safe until a repair can be completed. All Veriserv engineers would provide expert advice and recommendation whilst on site. This is important as the full inspection & test report would follow later. If you need advise please call us on 01543 225306 or complete an Contact us form.

The Electricity at work regulations 1989 sit under the Health & Safety at work act 1974 and impose duties on employers and “duty holders” in respect to electrical systems, electrical equipment and conductors.

The purpose of the regulations is to is to prevent death or personal injury to any person from electrical causes in connection with work activities.

Employers and self employed people must comply with the provisions of the Electricity at work regulations 1989. Regulation 4 (2) states that as necessary to prevent danger , all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent , so far as reasonably practicable , such danger.

A duty holder can demonstrate compliance with the regulations, in respect to their electrical installation, by carrying out an electrical fixed wire inspection and test. As Veriserv are an NICEIC accredited company, we are experts in this area and are happy to advise you on the frequency, scope and cost of the test, having first considered the environment and use of the premises concerned.

If you need advise please call us on 01543 225306 or complete a Contact us form.

 

Overheated RCBO terminals could cause a fire

Burnt out RCBO

Our “fault of the week” blog posts are all real electrical fault situations that have been reported by Veriserv engineers whilst carrying out Inspection & Testing of electrical installations at client sites. This fault is an RCBO (residual current breaker with overcurrent) that has become overheated and burnt.

This C1 electrical defect is a result of a loose connection causing arcing at the RCBO terminal. Not only would this lead to a failure in the RCBO and electrical circuit, there would also be a serious threat of fire should the melted plastic ignite in some way.

The Veriserv engineer would immediately isolate this circuit and report the defect to the client on what we call an “immediate report”. This so the client is aware of any defects prior to the engineer leaving site. The RCBO and adjoining cable would be replaced if the client requested that Veriserv carry out the remedial repair.

Overheated RCBO terminals could cause a fire, this fault would be classed as a C1 Fail Code -Danger Present. Risk of injury. Immediate remedial action required.

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989-Reg 4(2) state “The need for maintenance to be done to ensure safety”.  As such all commercial premises must be electrically tested and certified to ensure they can continue to be used safety.

BS7671 wiring regulations to the latest edition sets out the requirements for all electrical installations in the UK. The Institute of Engineers and Technology (IET) produce guidance notes to enlarge on the wiring regulations and set out guidance on how compliance can be achieved. Guidance Note 3 covers the Inspection & testing of Electrical Installations.

An electrical installation should be periodically inspected by a qualified electrical engineer. Veriserv are experts in this field and will advise any customer who may be unsure of the periodicity or scope of the Inspection & Test. Veriserv will issue an electrical certificate and report to their customer with a statement as to the condition of the electrical installation. Click here for more details.

 

Exposed electrical supply in burnt out lamp post

image2

Our “fault of the week” posts are published to show the sort of dangerous electrical faults that our Veriserv engineers are finding every day of the week whilst carrying out routine electrical inspection & testing at our customer’s premises. Exposed electrical supply and burnt out wiring & control gear was found within this lamp post.

We hope that in posting examples we will raise more awareness and hopefully this will lead to fewer electric shocks and electrical fires

In this example the dark nights just got darker for this public entertainments area in the Black Country. Exposed electrical supply and burnt out wiring & control gear was found within this lamp post during the planned electrical inspection by Veriserv. On closer inspection though, there was considerable damage within the lamp post as the incoming supply cable was still found to be live. Immediate action is called for when a defect like this is identified, particularly so when the equipment is situated in a publicly accessible area.

In this instance the Veriserv engineer isolated the lamp post at the supply origin, notified the site contact and investigated other lamp posts to identify if the defect has occurred elsewhere.

It’s a legal requirement for any property owner to provide a safe place for persons within a public accessible area. To satisfy this requirement suitable and proper inspection and maintenance must be carried out at regular intervals. Veriserv are specialists in the areas of Electrical Inspection & Testing and Fire Alarm Testing & Maintenance.

electric shock sign

Electric shocks are generally more dangerous as the voltage increases however in the UK all mains voltages supplying your home or company premises are sufficient to kill or inflict a serious injury.An electric shock can cause;

    • the heart to stop or beating properly
    • the person to stop breathing properly
    • muscle spasms
    • electrical burns
    • an electrical fire

More information can be found by visiting the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) website.

There are electrical standards and approved codes of practice, the details of which can again be found on the HSE website.

 

When was your CCTV system last serviced?

CCTV systems are not only essential for the security of your premises but it is also a very useful tool with regards to health and safety in any business or industry. This is why it is very important that your security/safety systems are maintained periodically to ensure that when required they are functioning correctly.

CCTV system that has not been serviced

During a recent service visit to a new client by a Veriserv engineer, he noticed that the premises was suffering from a camera fail. Upon investigation, our engineer found that the camera had failed due to a severe water ingress issue. When designing and installing a CCTV system, it is very important that the location of each camera is sited in a position not only to provide the maximum amount of coverage, but also to take into account the surface or infrastructure of the building the camera shall be fixed upon.

 

Water damage to CCTV that had not been serviced

 

External CCTV systems face the brunt of the British weather 365 days of the year. Although the IP (ingress protection) rating of a camera is designed by the manufacturer to keep the elements out; eventually over time if not maintained, the rubber seals and glands can perish. This causes water ingress, potentially taking out the PSU (power supply unit), which supplies the remaining cameras on site, which could result in a complete CCTV failure across the premises.

A failure of this size would be a significant security and safety issue to any business. Keeping your CCTV system serviced regularly, is as important as keeping any of your other security systems (such as your fire alarm) fully functioning.

When was your CCTV system last serviced? Veriserv engineers are very experienced in all aspects of CCTV, whether your premises is either an office complex, or an industrial factory. During a periodic service, we shall advise the client where any possible future failure may occur, and recommend any remedial works to ensure that your CCTV meets your needs.

Our mission is to provide every single customer with an outstanding service that is fit for purpose and delivered by experts to reduce risk. As you can see from our other faults of the week, regular visits from a professional can cut down the risk of electrical faults, fire and disrupted security, to you and your workplace.

So if you know you are due a service, or have some concerns about your premises, please call 01543 225306, or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free assessment of your premises, with one of our fully trained engineers.

Light fitting with exposed live electrical parts!

Light Fitting exposed parts

Our “fault of the week” posts are published to show the sort of dangerous electrical faults that our Veriserv engineers are finding every day of the week whilst carrying out routine electrical inspection & testing at our customer’s premises. This light fitting had exposed live electrical parts.
We hope that in posting examples like this, we will raise more awareness and hopefully this will lead to fewer electric shocks and electrical fires.

During a routine electrical inspection & test a Veriserv engineer found this light fitting with exposed live electrical parts.

At an initial glance a casual observer may think that the connecting terminals visible on this fluorescent light fitting are possibly for future use and are otherwise dormant. However, when investigated by the Veriserv engineer, a voltage measurement identified 230 Volts between the Line (Live) terminal and earth. The fittings were placed at around 8 feet high so in normal use it is unlikely that any person would come in to contact with them.

During maintenance however, such as changing a tube, the possibility of direct contact is very likely causing the inevitable electric shock that could be even more serious due to a likely fall from height!

To rectify the defect fully an “end cap” is required that will cover the terminals. The cap is not immediately available from a wholesaler therefore the Veiserv engineer made the fitting safe to enable the remaining lighting to be used and not affect the occupancy of the building.

Useful Health & Safety information and advise can be found by visiting the Heath & Safety Executive website.

Remember Electric Shocks can kill or injure by;

preventing the heart beating properly
preventing the person breathing properly
cause severe muscle spasms
cause electrical burns
start an electrical fire

Electrical Standards and Approved Codes of Practice can be found on the Health & Safety Executive website.  

It’s a legal requirement for any property owner to provide a safe place of work for employees or for persons within a public accessible area. To satisfy this requirement suitable and proper inspection and maintenance must be carried out at regular intervals. Veriserv are specialists in the areas of Electrical Inspection & Testing and Fire Alarm Testing & Maintenance. We can take the worry from you by providing a no obligation survey and advising you on the most appropriate course of action. Feel free to contact us by phone or on line form.

 

Loose cable connections can be more dangerous than you think

How safe is your property? Are you sure work has been done correctly, and do you have your electrics tested regularly? Just a few loose cable connections could of meant serious danger for this person.

loose cable connections

The attached photo shows burning and heat damage forming within a consumer unit. This fault was caused by a loose or poor cable connection and luckily was spotted by a Veriserv engineer, and was able to be repaired.

The power from the consumer unit was still live and working, so may not have seemed a problem for the customer, but you can clearly see the potential fire risk that can increase within a property without inspections. This is a problem that could have escalated extremely quickly, and would have been more than just an inconvenience, it could have been life threatening.

During periodic inspections, Veriserv engineers test and physically check for loose cable connections, as well as any other technical faults, which as you can see is a valuable service.

Our mission is to provide every single customer with an outstanding service that is fit for purpose and delivered by experts to reduce risk. As you can see from our other faults of the week, regular visits from a professional can cut down the risk of electrical faults, fire and disrupted security, to you and your workplace.

So if you know you are due a service, or have some concerns about your premises, please call 01543 225306, or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free assessment of your premises, with one of our fully trained engineers.

 

Faulty AC Adapters Exposing Live Terminals at 230V

AC adapters & chargers are commonplace in every workplace nowadays, whether used for mobile phones or supplying certain IT equipment. So Faulty AC Adapters are beginning to become a problem.

Faulty AC Adapters charger split casing

This week, we have again identified a safety issue that can occur with some of these appliances. Most of these items are constructed from two halves of a molded casing which are glued & sometimes screwed together. Occasionally however this fixing can fail leading to the casing coming apart and causing a faulty AC adapters exposing live terminals at 230V potential.

Faulty AC Adapters LC Racing Charger

Of the three photographs, the unit laid out in two pieces failed the first time the item was removed from the wall socket. This charger was actually a replacement for another unit that had failed in the same way!
Faulty AC Adapters Power Supply Adaptor Split Casing

Veriserv would recommend caution for any chargers or AC adapters used in the workplace that are not an original equipment manufacturer part, as they could be potentially harmful. We would advise staying with the manufacturers parts where possible, and taking care of your appliances.

Our mission is to provide every single customer with an outstanding service that is fit for purpose and delivered by experts to reduce risk. As you can see from our other faults of the week, regular visits from a professional can cut down the risk of electrical faults, fire and disrupted security, to you and your workplace.

So if you know you are due a service, or have some concerns about your premises, please call 01543 225306, or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free assessment of your premises, with one of our fully trained engineers.

 

Male connector fitted with exposed terminals

Can you see a problem with this? Would you spot the dangers of exposed terminals?

exposed terminals

The plug, the flex and the three-pin connector all look to be in perfect condition don’t they? However, this lead could quite literally be lethal.

It appears that someone has unwittingly, maybe during a momentary lapse of concentration fitted a “male” connector with exposed terminals on the end of a 13-amp plug, now imagine this plugged into a socket outlet with those exposed terminals at the end and suddenly it no longer looks quite so innocent.

A Veriserv engineer found and removed this from a site this week emphasising the need to be extra vigilant for such seemingly innocent and yet very dangerous pieces of “DIY” equipment.

The IET recommend that formal visual inspections be undertaken periodically by a competent person to identify these hazardous items.

Our mission is to provide every single customer with an outstanding service that is fit for purpose and delivered by experts to reduce risk. As you can see from our other faults of the week, regular visits from a professional can cut down the risk of electrical faults, fire and disrupted security, to you and your workplace.

So if you know you are due a service, or have some concerns about your premises, please call 01543 225306, or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free assessment of your premises, with one of our fully trained engineers.

 

 

Information for Reference

IET- Institution for Engineering Technology

Regulations

Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

 

 

Veriserv extends its services to testing in Compex Explosive Atmospheres

Veriserv would like to congratulate their engineers on the successful completion of the competence validation tests in relation to CompEx. Meaning Veriserv can now test in explosive atmospheres

explosive atmospheres compex

Veriserv’s Senior Electrical Inspection & Testing engineers have extended their qualifications by completing and passing the new modules in Compex environments. The extension to Veriservs’ range of services is specifically for clients who work in areas that contain explosive atmospheres, for example; Gas refineries, petro-chemical, distilleries, pharmaceutical and a wide range of other gas industries.

Our engineers have successfully passed the following units:

EX01  Preparation & Installation of Ex’d’, ‘n’, ‘e’ and ‘p’ electrical equipment

EX02  Maintenance & Inspection of Ex’d’, ‘n’, ‘e’ and ‘p’ electrical equipment

EX03  Preparation & Installation of Ex’i’ equipment and systems

EX04  Maintenance & Inspection of Ex’i’ equipment and systems

All units are based on the IEC Standards 60079: Parts 14 & 17 and the APEA/IP Guide as appropriate 

explosive atmospheres engineer testing

The CompEx Scheme is now the global solution for validating core competency of employees and contract staff of major users in the gas, oil and chemical sectors.

Veriserv are delighted with their engineers achievements and through CompEx, look forward to extending our range of services for clients who operate in environments with explosive atmospheres.

As more companies are required to comply with the ATEX Directive to meet European legislation, Veriserv are perfectly positioned to offer ATEX advice, assessment and certification of your electrical installations.

Our services also include electrical inspections of work carried out by your contractor ensuring compliance to current requirements and regulations.

For more information or a quotation please click here   

The high risk of using a damaged socket extension lead

Badly smashed sockets still in use

You may have heard the old adage of “if it works then there’s no need to fix it” but when an item of portable electrical equipment becomes damaged it should be switched off, disconnected from the supply and taken out of service. Unfortunately, in this instance this damaged socket extension lead was found by a Veriserv engineer to be still in use despite its obvious dangerous condition.

This piece of equipment obviously poses a number of hazards such as electrical shock and the risk of causing a fire. This would pose a high risk to any company and its employees.

All users of portable electrical equipment in the work place should undertake ‘User Checks’ however in this case it seems this piece of equipment has gone unnoticed. Ideally, in this situation as soon as the damage occurred the piece of equipment should have been switched off. It should not be acceptable for a significant defect of this nature to go unnoticed, therefore the IET recommend that formal visual inspections are undertaken periodically by a competent person to identify these hazardous items.

A Veriserv engineer would isolate the equipment at time of the inspection and advise the client of his findings, and assist where possible to get equipment that was connected to the extension lead back on.

Our mission is to provide every single customer with an outstanding service that is fit for purpose and delivered by experts to reduce risk. As you can see from our other faults of the week, regular visits from a professional can cut down the risk of electrical faults, fire and disrupted security, to you and your workplace.

So if you know you are due a service, or have some concerns about your premises, please call 01543 225306, or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free assessment of your premises, with one of our fully trained engineers.

 

Information for Reference

IET- Institution for Engineering Technology

Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment Chapter 15.8

Regulations

Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 Regulation 5

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, Regulation 4(1)