How can we ensure the safe use of electrical work equipment at home? - Engineering Discussions - IET EngX - IET EngX
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How can we ensure the safe use of electrical work equipment at home?

Former Community Member
Former Community Member

Our new factfile, The safe use of electrical work equipment at home, provides guidance on using electrical devices safely when working from home. Whether you’re working from home or the office, maintenance of electrical equipment is necessary. Employers should have procedures in place that provide guidance to enable employees to comply from wherever they work. Read about the different kinds of devices that need to be monitored and maintained, the responsibilities of both employees and employers, and more: The safe use of electrical work equipment at home. 

We are also interested in hearing from you. Read our factfile and let us know your thoughts on the information that we've provided. Did you find it useful, would you like to know more, or is there something we've missed? We want to hear from you! Log in to your online IET Community account to share your thoughts below.

  • Well since you ask…

    • Who is this aimed at? Presumably employers to pass on to their staff, but a “This guidance is aimed at…” section at the start would be good (it's also always good as it helps the author's keep checking their context!)
    • "The employee needs to: 2. Complete a generic risk assessment that includes…a record of the location of working, for example kitchen table vs study..." Ok, but what is the employer (or employee) to do with that information when they have it? If that's going to be there then on the employer side then they need to be asked to provide guidance on different risks in those different environments…which if they are expert enough to do then they wouldn't need this guidance anyway so that suggests this guidance should detail guidance for different work areas. Or take that out of this list.
    • Section 3 twice refers to additional tests for Class I equipment (first and fourth paragraphs on the right hand side somewhat repeat each other, could be combined into one?)  but doesn't help the employer understand what these tests are, who to get to do them etc. Needs to point to other guidance on this.
    • “It is never advisable to daisy-chain multiple extension leads together,” about 15 years ago I started a thread on these forums asking the question “why not?” From memory it was an interesting discussion that ended up - as we'd probably all intuitively expect - with “it depends”. Now ok, it's one of those problems where writing for non-technical staff it's easier to say “don't do it” rather than “these are the rules for doing it”, but I don't think “never advisable” are the right words for something which is common practice for IT in offices, let alone in homes. “should be avoided, and only used for low power equipment”? perhaps? (But then how do you explain “low power”?) Answers on a postcard…
    • More generally, section 3 reads as a collection of bits of advice rather than a beginning to end "thread" of critical advice leading on to detailed advice.
    • And it feels to me that the definition of Class I and Class II takes up too much of the page, how much does the employer and employee really need to understand these?
    • Section 4 - please let's have a photo of basic PAT testing equipment, NOT someone sticking a multimeter lead into the end of an IEC lead!!! Yes, I know it's not plugged into the mains, but remember the target audience - if they know enough to use a multimeter safely they don't need this guidance…
    • More usefully - let's put in some photos in section 6 of the type of damage employees should be looking for. I'll bet there's some in other IET guidance.


    Look forward to seeing other comments… 

  • Note that generally you will get more responses if you post this sort of question in the electrical part of the forum. very few have the interest or patience to look at all the other sections on the off-chance.