Which do you prefer???
Whether it’s not ‘Officially’ anything Christmas until the 1st December or you are plotting putting the tree up already, I’m fairly certain that lights will feature in your display at work, and at home for that matter.
There are always two questions:
Where are the lights we used last year??? and Are the lights safe to use?
I’m afraid I can’t help you with the first question……
There is a common myth, which has been busted previously by the HSE, that all indoor Christmas lights need to be PA Tested. If you get the lights tested when all the other items are tested great, but if not then following the checks detailed in the HSE guidance on portable electrical appliances can enable you to use the lights safely, once you’ve found them hiding at the back of the stationary cupboard.
The Regulations require that electrical systems and equipment must be maintained, so far as reasonably practicable, to prevent danger, and covers all items of electrical equipment including fixed or portable equipment. It is important to note that the Regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently, i.e. the regulations do not make it a legal requirement to test all portable electrical appliances every year.
It is the responsibility of the dutyholder, not the contractor completing the maintenance, to select precautions appropriate to the risk rather than having precautions imposed that may not be relevant to a particular work activity. It is the dutyholder’s responsibility to identify and control the risk arising from the use of portable electrical appliances by completing a risk assessment.
All portable electrical equipment should be maintained, as identified in the risk assessment, and this can be achieved by a combination of:
- Checks by the user
- Formal visual inspections by a competent person
Where necessary, a combined inspection and test – also known as a portable appliance test (PAT) – should be completed by an electrically competent person.
The majority of electrical safety defects can be found by undertaking a visual examination of the equipment, however some types of defect can only be found by testing. It is essential to understand that visual examination is an essential part of the process because some types of electrical safety defect can’t be detected by testing alone. A user check is a useful part of an electrical maintenance regime, although a formal visual inspection and testing, by a competent person may also be required at appropriate intervals, dependent on type of equipment and the working environment.
Hope your lights this year sparkle with gusto.
If you need more info on Portable Appliance Testing check out the HSE website