As mentioned previously there are several separate legislation that specifically relate to electrical maintenance:

  •  Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974
  • Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  •  Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998




The Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 places a ‘duty of care’ both on the employer and employee to ensure the safety of everyone using the work premises. This includes the self-employed.

The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states “every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of:

(a)the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work, and
(b)the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking.”

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 state: “As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, such danger”

“System, means an electrical system in which all the electrical equipment is, or may be electrically connected to a common source of electrical energy and includes such source and such equipment”

“Electrical equipment includes anything used, intended to be used or installed for use, to generate, provide, transmit, transform, rectify, convert, conduct, distribute, control, store, measure or use electrical energy”

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998 state: “Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is so constructed or adapted as to be suitable for the purpose for which it is used or provided”

PUWER covers most risks that can result from using work equipment, but it is noted that this includes, but is not exclusive to, electrical equipment. And PUWER only applies to work equipment used by workers at work. This includes all work equipment (fixed, portable or transportable) connected to a source of electrical energy.

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