What is fixed wire testing?
Fixed wire testing is the process in which a professional assesses a company’s electrical setup. It is taken place to ensure that the building is being powered safely and that none of your employees is in danger while they’re working inside the building.
Fixing wire testing also ensures that the building is complying with the Electricity at Work Regulations that was introduced in 1989. As you can imagine, it’s incredibly important to make sure that your company is safe for everyone.
AMS Solutions is a professional company in the commercial electrical sector. Their team of highly qualified electrical engineers carry out fixed wire testing with a high degree of professionalism and ease.
What does the inspection cover?
When your fixed wire testing professional gets to work, they’ll be looking specifically for problems that need to be fixed. If these issues weren’t identified and sorted, you could be looking at a large fine, or worse, a potentially dangerous electrical incident.
There are a lot of components that have to work together to deliver electricity throughout the building, so fixed wire testing covers everything from hard wiring and connections to air conditioning. Distribution boards, switchboards, fuses, circuit breakers, and light fixtures are among the components to be checked.
What are the common issues found during fixed wire testing?
It’s incredibly important to get your business tested for electrical dangers, and your company must meet safety standards in all respects. Not only should the building be protected from electrical fires, but your employees should also feel safe in their workplace.
While your building might be safe for your standard employees who aren’t hands-on with the electrical components, what about the employees that work closely with electrically powered equipment?
There are always risk factors associated with working with electrical appliances and tools. Although this can never be completely taken away, your job is to minimize the risks as much as possible for your employees.
Controllable risks that you’re responsible for are: overloading electrical equipment or circuits, poor bonding, electrical shocks or fire hazards from low-quality installation, and defective electrical work.
How to prevent risk factors associated with electrical equipment in the workplace?
The most obvious prevention method is to make sure that all of your electrical work is done by a professional. You shouldn’t allow any of your employees to carry out the work themselves unless they’re professionally trained to do so. Although it may be less expensive, it can also be much more dangerous and pose a threat to your entire building.
Another way of preventing risk factors from occurring is to ensure that the materials being used are high-quality. We’re not saying that you necessarily need to opt for the most expensive option available, but using low-quality options might increase the risk of electrical hazards.
Finally, you can make sure that everyone that works with the electrical equipment knows exactly what they’re doing and how to use the machinery. Ensure that everyone has read the necessary information and manuals, and don’t be afraid to test them on it now and again.
It is vitally important that people working with electrical equipment know exactly what they’re doing to prevent dangerous incidents. Label the circuits and make it easy for your employees – not only will this make everything run smoothly and easily, but you’ll also have peace of mind that accidents are much less likely to occur.
Is fixed wire testing a legal obligation?
As an employer, you’re legally required to create a safe and secure work environment for your employees. To do this, you need to ensure that they’re protected in terms of safety, health, and welfare. Fixed wire testing is a big part of completing this requirement, so yes, it is a legal obligation.
The Health and Safety Act was introduced in 1974, which protects employees from working in dangerous work environments. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 further covers employees from dangers specifically regarding electrical equipment.
The 1989 act states that it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that electrical systems, equipment, and conductors are in working order and safe for use. The purpose of the act is to ensure that someone is responsible should there be a death or injury in the workplace in regards to electrical hazards.
As you can imagine, a personal injury or death in the workplace can significantly disrupt your workflow and employee morale. Before 1989, it would end at that; however, after that time, you will be liable for the incident.
Your business and reputation can be destroyed if this were to happen, not to mention one of your employees would be hurt. To avoid all of this commotion, it is simply easier to comply with the fixed wire testing regulations. Give yourself peace of mind and make sure that you’re covered with a regular fixed wire testing.
How often is fixed wire testing necessary?
The answer to this question is somewhat up to your own interpretation. While some sources claim that you should have your electrical systems checked every five years, you should use your own initiative to determine the amount of time between each check.
As the employer or duty-holder, you have the most knowledge on your business and how much risk is associated with the electrical systems. The risk will vary depending on the nature of the business, so you should consider this when deciding the duration between your fixed wire testing.
Also, consider the age of the electrical equipment and how often the systems are used. You ideally shouldn’t leave it longer than five years between checks; however, you have the final say on the frequency of the testing.
What factors might impact on the costs of fixed wire testing?
The overall cost of fixed wire testing usually depends on how many circuits there are that need to be inspected. However, several factors can further affect the price of the testing process.
Firstly, the size of your building will affect the cost. A smaller building is likely to have less electrical equipment and systems, so the inspection will take less time to complete and therefore cost less. On the other hand, if your company is large or you have multiple buildings the test will take considerably longer and therefore cost more.
Another factor that might impact the cost is the condition and accessibility of the electrical systems. Some buildings make it much harder to access the electrical equipment and therefore the price might be higher than if the systems were readily available.
Also, consider how the systems have been installed when thinking about the cost of the fixed wire testing. The older the equipment is, the more likely it is to have to be replaced and updated. It might also take longer to complete considering the complexity of the systems, not to mention if they’re too outdated for the professional to recognise.
There are a plethora of factors that could impact the cost of your fixed wire testing; however, these are often specific to each building and the majority of duty-holders won’t even know about most of them. The only way to get an accurate estimate is to contact a professional engineering company and have them assess your building and factors.
How long does fixed wire testing take?
Understandably, having all of your electrical systems checked can be disruptive and annoying to your employees and workflow. However, it is also essential and only has to be done every three to five years.
The amount of time taken to complete fixed wire testing depends on a lot of factors such as the size of the building, how easily accessible the systems are, and how many disruptions there are for the engineer to work around.
AMS Solutions aims to conduct the fixed wire testing during out of office hours to keep the level of disruption to a minimum. They either offer an option to have every single one of your circuits tested at once, or you can opt for 20% or 33% of them to be tested every year over the course of 3 or 5 years.
Having a percentage of your electrical systems tested every year for multiple years will take less time per session and therefore will cause less disruption to your company; however, some duty-holders prefer to get it all completed at once.
We hope that you’ve gained some useful information on what fixed wire testing is and why it’s so important. You can save yourself time, stress, and money by conforming to the legal requirements in place for your business.
Overall, fixed wire testing does not disrupt your workflow too much and some companies, such as AMS Solutions, even inspect during your quietest hours to ensure that you suffer from the minimum amount of annoyance.
There are plenty of factors that can affect the overall cost and duration of your fixed wire testing, depending on the building and the age of the electrical systems. Remember, fixed wire testing is crucial to the safety and welfare of your employees so choose a trusted business to entrust with the responsibility.
What is fixed wire testing?