Facts You Should Know About Electrical Maintenance

Work using electrically powered equipment

You should make sure that electrical equipment used for work is safe. Here are a list of actions that should be taken to ensure this is so:

Perform a risk assessment to identify the hazards, the risks arising from those hazards, and the control measures you should use.

Check that the electrical equipment is suitable for the work and way in which it is going to be used.

Check that the electrical equipment is in good condition. The HSE booklet ‘Maintaining portable and transportable electrical equipment’ will help you do this.

Check that the equipment is suitable for the electrical supply with which it is going to be used, and the electrical supply is safe.

It is often beneficial to use a Residual Current Device (RCD) between the electrical supply and the equipment.

Make sure that the user of the equipment is trained to use it safely and can keep others safe.

Make sure the user knows which personal protective equipment to wear, how to use it, and make sure they do.

Check that the electrical equipment is suitable

The equipment should be physically capable of doing the job, and designed and constructed so that mechanical and electrical stresses do not cause the equipment to become unsafe.

If the environment is damp you may choose to use battery or air powered equipment, or equipment that operates at a reduced voltage such as that supplied by a transformer with an output that is centre tapped to earth (this halves the voltage between a live wire and earth). These are used in the construction industry and are readily available from hire shops.

If the environment is conductive with restricted movement (e.g. inside a metal tank) additional precautions are necessary. BS7671 ‘Requirements for Electrical Installations’, IEE Wiring Regulations, Seventeenth edition, Section 706, gives guidance on this.

If there is the chance that there is an explosive atmosphere (containing flammable aerosols, vapours, gases or dusts) nearby you should ensure the work can be carried out safely and that the right equipment is chosen.

Check that the electrical equipment is in good condition

Many faults with work equipment can be found during a simple visual inspection:

Switch off and unplug the equipment before you start any checks.

Check that the plug is correctly wired (but only if you are competent to do so).

Ensure the fuse is correctly rated by checking the equipment rating plate or instruction book.

Check that the plug is not damaged and that the cable is properly secured with no internal wires visible.

Check the electrical cable is not damaged and has not been repaired with insulating tape or an unsuitable connector. Damaged cable should be replaced with a new cable by a competent person.

Check that the outer cover of the equipment is not damaged in a way that will give rise to electrical or mechanical hazards.

Check for burn marks or staining that suggests the equipment is overheating.

Position any trailing wires so that they are not a trip hazard and are less likely to get damaged.

Additional regular inspections may be required where a risk assessment indicates this is necessary (such as where equipment is used in a harsh environment). These inspections should be performed by a competent person using suitable equipment, and often enough to ensure equipment does not become unsafe between the inspections.

The table below gives a list of suggested initial inspection intervals for different types of equipment. The combined inspection and test could be a Portable Appliance Test (PAT), or a detailed test with a more sophisticated instrument. You should make sure that the person carrying out the tests is trained and competent to do so.

Electrical engineering

Electrical engineering is an engineering discipline concerned with the study, design and application of equipment, devices and systems which use electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. It emerged as an identifiable occupation in the latter half of the 19th century after commercialization of the electric telegraph, the telephone, and electrical power generation, distribution and use

Electrical engineering is now divided into a wide range of fields, including computer engineering, systems engineering, power engineering, telecommunications, radio-frequency engineering, signal processing, instrumentation, and electronics. Many of these disciplines overlap with other engineering branches, spanning a huge number of specializations including hardware engineering, power electronics, electromagnetics and waves, microwave engineering, nanotechnology, electrochemistry, renewable energies, mechatronics, and electrical materials science.

Electrical engineers typically hold a degree in electrical engineering or electronic engineering. Practising engineers may have professional certification and be members of a professional body or an international standards organization. These include the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) (formerly the IEE).

Electrical engineers work in a very wide range of industries and the skills required are likewise variable. These range from circuit theory to the management skills of a project manager. The tools and equipment that an individual engineer may need are similarly variable, ranging from a simple voltmeter to sophisticated design and manufacturing software

Electricity has been a subject of scientific interest since at least the early 17th century. was a prominent early electrical scientist, and was the first to draw a clear distinction between magnetism and static electricity. He is credited with establishing the term “electricity”

Importance of Good Electrical Maintenance Practices

Good maintenance practices are not just limited to equipment in the facility. In fact, you need to follow good maintenance practices when it comes to the electrical aspect of the organization. You need to plan every step carefully, encourage proactive management and comprehensive reporting. Intelligent construction, proper design and commissioning are also key factors.

Why Focus on Electrical Safety

Apart from the obvious and undoubtedly an important reason, that you need to provide a safe working environment for your employees, there are few more reasons why you need place a lot of emphasis on electrical safety.

It is a regulatory and legislative duty to ensure the safety of all the electrical installations present in the premises. Moreover, it is a statutory obligation to make sure that life safety systems like fire detection, emergency lighting and alarm systems work properly when they are needed.

Don’t forget to assess the transportation systems such as escalators, lifts and moving walkways at regular intervals. Record and sign off on all the maintenance activities of the electrical systems. You need to use a log book that records periodic tests in order to demonstrate compliance with fire alarms, emergency lighting and similar systems with statutory requirements. This log book must be available for auditing purposes. Note down all the dates of tests being conducted on the electrical equipment, anomalies, and the necessary remedial actions.

These are some electrical maintenances that need to be a part of every organization.

Make sure that the electrical equipment isn’t located in a hazardous environment. For example, do not place any electrical equipment in a damp or wet location or any place that is exposed to high temperatures and flammable substances.

Ensure that the over-current and safety devices like circuit breakers, fuses or ground fault circuit interrupters are not damaged or haven’t been tampered with. Check regularly to ensure that they are performing as per the required standards.

Never overload the circuits or outlets. Make sure you use only the equipment that is properly grounded or double insulated.

The working staff should remove all the metal jewelry before working on electrical circuits and equipment.

Inspect the power cord to confirm that there are no defects like exposed wiring or damaged insulation.

Don’t run the electrical cables and cords through open spaces where the chances of tripping are high. Do not cover them with rugs or mats as it will block the visibility, thus increasing the risk of tripping.

Identify whether the equipment has an emergency shutoff switch and if they do, locate them before you put the equipment to use.

Only use equipment that has been approved by a national testing laboratory


If you take care of your tools, they will return the favor. Proper care and routine maintenance of your hand tools and power tools makes any home improvement or repair project easier, safer and more successful. Proper tool care also saves you money because the better they’re cared for, the longer they’ll last.


Hand tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers, pliers, levels, and wire cutters are examples of common household tools that are often left out in places such as basements, garages and tool sheds. Tools are tough, but they are not indestructible and exposure to the elements can take its toll.


Power tools such as electric drills, saws, sanders and nailers need routine maintenance just like your hand tools. Because of their mechanical and electrical parts, power tools are more susceptible to problems caused by poor maintenance, dust and debris accumulation and general malfunction. The following are some helpful tips on how to clean and properly store your tools.

Dust and grime can bring your power tools to a grinding halt if left unchecked over time. Wipe them clean with a rag after every job has been completed and then store them. Deep clean periodically by using a damp cloth. Get into exhausts and intakes and other hard-to-clean areas with lightly oiled cotton swabs or other slender tools

Keep your power tools protected from dust, moisture and other adverse conditions by storing them properly after use. Keep them in their original cases if possible, or tuck them away in storage drawers or tool chests, preferably in a garage or basement with a moderately controlled climate. This not only protects them, it also keeps them organized so you can easily find the tool you need when you need it



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