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chris42  
#1 Posted : 21 December 2017 15:31:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Following a query from our insurance company I tried to look up on the HSE web site if an electrical inspection (typically 3 to 5 year fixed inspection) has to be carried out by someone who is a member of NICEIC or the like. 

The HSE used to have a page that said there were these companies / organisations, but it was not necessary for them to belong to one of them (provided they were competent / appropriately trained etc). So I have been insuring that they have either C&G 2395 or C&G 2391. The HSE web site now states

“You should have your electrical installation inspected and tested by a person who has the competence to do so, “Electrical Safety First” provide advice on selecting an electrician.”

Link https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/find-an-electrician/

Which states (note the word home)

"If you need electrical installation work done in your home, we recommend that you use an electrician registered with one of the government-approved schemes."

But the HSE web site that directs you to this, is clearly about electrical safety at work.

So must we now use someone from this list for commercial / industrial work ?

Psycho  
#2 Posted : 21 December 2017 15:42:45(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Psycho

The Regs dont give frequency the test comes from IET guidance note 3 inspection and testing table 3.2

domestic accomodation general -- change of occupency or every 10 years should be carried out by  a qualified electrition with 2391 or 2395 that would prove the competance of the tester

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chris42 on 22/12/2017(UTC)
RayRapp  
#3 Posted : 21 December 2017 15:47:33(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Chris

If I have read your question correctly, then I don't think it makes any difference whether it's a commercial or domestic property. The electrical test and inspection report is much the same. That said, I believe the certificate will indentify whether it is a commercial or domestic building.  

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chris42 on 22/12/2017(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#4 Posted : 21 December 2017 15:51:26(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

The Electricity at Work Regulations, regulation 16 covers ‘Persons to be competent to prevent

danger and injury’. It includes a requirement for any person working with electricity, where there is a danger of injury should possess technical knowledge and experience.   The guidance (para 239) further states that:

“The scope of ‘technical knowledge or experience’ should include:

  1. adequate knowledge of electricity;
  2. adequate experience of the electrical work being carried out;
  3. adequate understanding of the system to be worked on and practical

    experience of that class of system;

  4. understanding of the hazards which may arise during the work and the
  5. precautions which need to be taken;
  6. the ability to recognise at all times whether it is safe for work to continue.”

It does not say what constitutes evidence to this ‘technical knowledge or experience’, nor does it approve any particular body as being in position to provide this evidence.  So it seems it is still down to your judgement. Perhaps the HSE would like you to use people from these organisations but it does not state anywhere that you must, as that would be a new legal requirement.

 

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chris42 on 22/12/2017(UTC)
dubnut71  
#5 Posted : 21 December 2017 16:25:27(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
dubnut71

Hi Chris,

The query here from your insurers is presumeably their slightly lazy way of defining competence. The current schemes that electricians can join (voluntary and costly) such as NICEIC, NAPIT and SELECT up here do not in themselves garuantee competency. Yes they will go into chapter and verse about their checking of contractors work however the reality of that checking is sometimes variable and its efficacy questionable.

A suitably qualified and experienced electricain for the task in hand is whats needed. ege if its inspection and testing then 2391 is the wualification that covers this, with the relevant experience of testing.

Ill go further than this to say the schemes have a sniff of "racket" about them but the uninformed procurer of these types of services is usually bullied into thinking only NICEIC or the like will do, its simply not the case. The reality is that most electrical contractors will have probably have been down this route before and irrespective of knowing they dont "need" to be scheme registered, they will have done it to go with the flow and access a greater pot of work overall.

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chris42 on 22/12/2017(UTC)
paul.skyrme  
#6 Posted : 21 December 2017 20:15:27(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
paul.skyrme

Hi Chris,

I can give you chapter and verse on this and as much information as you need and more! ;)

OK, as a start, public sector bodies cannot differentiate between the schemes (scams we call them in the industry).

However, a private company can choose with whom to spend their money, thus, they can specify, and it is not a restriction of trade etc.  An inusrance company is a private profit making limited company, in general, so can specify a particluar scheme, if they so wish.  If your preferred contractor is not a member of that particular scheme, their scheme will have deprtment dedicated to explaining to clients how their scheme meets the requirements you and your insurer have.

They all (the scams), have slightly different interpretations of the DCLG/UKAS requirements for the assessment of contractors, and some have different scopes for which they register.

ELECSA only deal with domestic contracting companies, they do not assess their members for commercial and industrial.  The NICEIC have two schemes, Approved Contractor, which means that the company has been assessed for domestic, commercial, industrial and possibly PAT and a few other areas.  Also Domestic Installer, which as it suggests only assesses the company for domestic works. NAPIT will assess against domestic, commercial and industrial, as will STROMA, but they don't specifically distinguish by the name of the registration, just the scope that they assess the company for.

Then there are different assessment models, for example, the NICEIC run the Qualified Supervisor model, NAPIT assess each operative for individual competency.

The exact way the scheme is run and how people/companies and competence is assessed varies slightly across all schemes.

Under one scheme the company can be assessed and approved, but the operatives that come to do the work do not have to be qualified in any way, and this was admitted in a Parliamentary select committe investigation meeting.  There is video evidence of this when Mr Clive Betts pushed the witness, he had to admit that this was the case, and it applies do domestic, commercial and industrial, the actual person that comes on site may not be qualified in anyway to do the work, and may not even be competent, they may just be an operative following instructions, and the company will have been assessed, and approved by their scheme provider and this is fine and compliant with DCLG/UKAS rules, at the moment.

How much more do you want to know.

I would be more than willing to help you write a specification so that you can become a smart client and would even be willing to share this across all IOSH members to ensure that standards of safety and competence are improved.

Ray, the report is similar the installation methods differ along with other things such as perhaps 3phase supplies etc.  There is a "new breed" of so called electrican out there that doesn't "do" 3 phase, because they have not been trained to do it.  Also there is a raft of insurance policies out there that do not cover electrical contractors for 3ph works.

Edited by user 21 December 2017 20:16:07(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

thanks 3 users thanked paul.skyrme for this useful post.
jwk on 22/12/2017(UTC), chris42 on 22/12/2017(UTC), Kenny G on 03/01/2018(UTC)
chris42  
#7 Posted : 22 December 2017 10:32:05(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Thanks all for the responses.

My question was really just: are the HSE recommending we use someone from that approval list (even though the referenced site does not mention non-domestic work). Then of course if there is this HSE recommendation which may not be compulsory, will that then go against you if you don't, should something go wrong!

A Kurdzeil’ last paragraph has what I was just checking.

I agree with all the responses, it is a shame these schemes were not better and if you were to use someone from their register you could be assured (they were appropriately trained and competent), but like most of these schemes around it seems to be just about making money.

Paul, as usual a very comprehensive answer and somewhat concerning. I think if you were willing to create some guidance, there would be interest from the other IOSH members and perhaps IOSH would put it in their download section. From our previous discussions I thought I had got my head around it ( or at least the qualifications side of things)  and was relatively happy until our insurance broker pointed out the following part of an insurance clause.

“a) the electrical system at the premises is inspected and tested by a member of a relevant and appropriate electrical contractors approvals agency in accordance with IET Wiring

Regulations for electrical installation.” 

My immediate thought was they wanted the inspections of each of our premises to be by someone registered with the likes of NICEIC or NAPIT or ECA. Previously years ago, the HSE web site said it was not a compulsory thing, but that page has disappeared and now seems to be leading you down that pathway. (I do hate the HSE web pages as there is no document / version control of their advice /comments, stuff just disappears).

I was going to go back to our brokers and reference the HSE page, but can’t do that now. It seems from everyones comments nothing has changed except perhaps the HSE’s standpoint.

Wishing everyone a good Christmas

Chris

paul.skyrme  
#8 Posted : 22 December 2017 14:18:32(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
paul.skyrme

Chris,

The way I read the paragraph in bold, as in the quote from your insurer, I would say that they are sayting that they want the premises I&T'd by an organisation that is registered with one of the schemes.

There is no profit to be made by the schemes if HSE state that there is no need to use their members.

However, HSE cannot recommend any of the schemes.

They can only recommend Electrcial Safety First, which all of the schemes support, but is totally intertwined with one of the scheme organisations which runs several on the face of it competing organisations.

chris42  
#9 Posted : 22 December 2017 15:32:56(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Yes, I read it the same way and of course the insurance company can ask what they like. I hoped to respond by saying the (old) HSE site didn’t recommend. Unfortunately, the new one is less clear on that in an ever increasingly familiar style. You would have thought that the fence the HSE / Gov like to sit on would have fallen over by now from overuse. Just have one like Gas Safe and be done with it.

It of course would be nice if the bean counters where I work, who keep signing up to things, because they think they can save £2.50, actually read what they were signing up to beforehand.

You never know by shear luck we may be ok, off to find out.

Chris

Charlie Brown  
#10 Posted : 02 January 2018 20:09:00(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Charlie Brown

Hi Chris,

I endorse Paul's comments but jut want to add, when a contractor comes to your site to do any work, whether electrical or otherwise, ask them for evidence of qualifications and training and take copies of same. In my former employment in a multi-site hire company we kept a "contractors works" register at each depot and kept copies of evidence in it. I did in fact have an incident where a depot arranged an electrical contractor to put in some extra power points and the "electrician" that was doing the work had never completed any formal training. Interestingly, the depot manager wondered why I sent the guy away because if anything went wrong "surely it would be the contractor that would swing"

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