Necessity of Hazardous Area Electrical Inspections

Electrical installations in hazardous areas have a high potential for accidents. They could lead to short-circuits, fire, and even explosions if not properly installed or maintained. These electric installations pose a considerable risk to the workforce, as well as the public. 

For a detailed Hazardous Area Inspection and full compliance with the law, we recommend Hexo Services as a reliable partner. 

Compliance with the Regulations 

Hazardous area inspections must be carried out for your business to comply with the regulations. It is a fundamental requirement for compliance in; 

  • Electricity at Work Regulations, 1989 (regulation number 4 and 6) 
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, 1998 
  • Dangerous Substances & Explosive Atmosphere Regulations (DSEAR) 

Regulation 4 in Electricity at Work Regulations, 1989 stipulates that all electrical systems in a workplace should be built and maintained in a safe condition where danger may exist. The complete records of maintenance should be kept up-to-date. 

Regulation 4 in Electricity at Work Regulations, 1989 stipulates that the electrical equipment in a hazardous environment must be constructed with the material or be suitably housed in an environment that ensures protection from reasonably predictable dangers. 

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations or PUWER, 1998 requires a risk assessment and its prevention to people’s health and safety from the equipment used at work. 

DSEAR regulations are concerned with protecting against risks arising from exposure to dangerous substances in or around a workplace. They may cause fire, explosion, corrosion or some other disaster. This regulation applies to all UK employers or self-employed individuals working in a place where dangerous substances are or could be present. 

Following the regulations given above demonstrates an employer or a business owner’s bid to become compliant. A hazardous area inspector provides evidence of this compliance once the inspection is complete. You may use this certification as proof in a court of law. 

Inspection Aspects 

Specialist electricians carry out a thorough examination of the electrical installation in a Hazardous Area Inspection. They examine the following aspects in the electrical installations; 

  • Safety of the system 
  • Wear and tear in wiring, insulation, connections, etc. 
  • Corrosion due to the hazardous environment 
  • Physical damage 
  • Age of the installations and their potential expiration 
  • External influences on the system 
  • Suitability of the system components in the hazardous environment 
  • Overloading of the circuits 

Grade of Inspection 

The frequency of inspections depends upon a manufacturer’s compliance, certain deterioration factors, the zone of use, and the previous inspections’ results. The inspection usually falls under three categories; visual, close, and detailed. 

  • Visual Inspection 

Visual inspections examine all the defects which can be determined without more in-depth testing. They can either be distinguished from the ground or a raised permanent access platform. Generally, these defects are inspected without using hand tools, switching off the system, or using ladders. Certain situations may call for the use of binoculars. 

  • Close Inspection 

Close inspections are carried out to determine defects in an electrical system without shutting down the whole network. The inspector may use certain tools or equipment for assistance. 

  • Detailed Inspection 

Detailed inspections are usually carried out once the installation is finished and is about to put to service. Power is generally disconnected during this kind of inspection. A complete range of access tools, equipment and apparatus, may be required. If the electrical system, plant or installation is modified, a detailed inspection becomes compulsory. 

An initial final circuit tracing and final circuit labelling may be provided upon demand during the hazardous area inspection. 

 

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