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January Featured Course: Electrical Safety
This electrical safety training course is an excellent introduction for those who work with electrical installations and their supervisors and managers. Electricity is the flow or movement of electrons through a substance which allows the transfer of electrical energy from one place to another. The flow of electrons through a wire can be compared to water flowing through a hose pipe. Like the host pipe, the substance through which the electricity flows is called the conductor. Good electrical conductors include metals, especially copper. Other materials that conduct electricity include water, carbon, and the human body. Superconductors are certain metals, including copper, steel, mercury, lead, and alloys which conducts electricity extremely well at very low temperatures.
Materials that are very poor conductors are known as insulators. You may be aware of insulators such as rubber, wood, and plastic. These are often used to shield people from a conductive material that could be carrying electricity.
Components of Electricity
Our electrical safety training course explains the two main types of electricity, direct current and alternating current where we’ll see how single phase supply and three phase supply are used. You’ll also learn about the journey electricity makes from the power plants which can generate around 33,000 volts to your home or workplace and how the voltage is reduced to levels acceptable for domestic and industrial use.
When we’re talking about electricity, other terms we need to define are
- Resistance – a poor conductor increases the resistance which in turn reduces the current flow. Electrical resistance is presented in ohms
- Current is the flow rate of electrons indicating how many electrons move through the cable. It’s measured in amperes, or amps
- voltage determines how quickly electrons move along the cable. This is measured in volts
Dealing with an Electric Shock
If someone receives a high voltage electrical shock, then you need to be extra careful. Always remember that high voltage electricity can arc or jump as far as 18 metres or more. If you have a casualty resulting from high voltage electrical shock, never approached them under any circumstances. If possible, you should stay at least 25 metres away until an official agency such as an electricity board has switched off the power.
You will be given basic instructions on what to do in cases of high or low voltage electric shocks including when to call emergency services and what to do while you are waiting for them to arrive.
Standards, Guidance and Legislation
The course examines the main legislation and standards used to control electrical safety in the workplace including
- the electricity at work regulations, and
- British Standard BS7671 requirements for electrical installations
We also look at practical steps that must be taken to assist you in complying with the law. There are many standards and laws designed to ensure that the use of electricity in the workplace is as safe as possible. They cover all aspects including design installation, maintenance and safe use.
Design of all electrical systems and equipment must be selected based on risk assessments which take account of appropriate standards and guidance.
Installation must be completed by competent persons following national standards.
Maintenance includes inspection, checking and testing. This is covered in more detail elsewhere in this course,
Safe use. Management has to get confirmation via risk assessments that the level of risk from electricity is acceptable. This can be achieved by ensuring everyone working with electricity is competent.
Record Keeping and Working with Electrical Equipment
This area of the course discusses how to conduct risk assessments and takes the learner through steps employers and supervisors should complete to ensure the safety of electrical devices in the workplace, including
- Records must be kept to prove that new installations comply with appropriate standards such as BS7671.
- There should be records to prove the equipment is maintained and safety checked, inspected and tested on a regular basis.
- Where there is a switch to cut off power from equipment in an emergency, there should be inspection records to prove that it’s operating effectively.
- In most instances, the provision of safe and suitable electrical equipment can be achieved by complying with Rams or company policy and procedures.
We look at the safety and maintenance records you should keep to ensure electrical equipment is safe and suitable, including reducing the voltage and the use of residual current devices or RCDs, as well as how to stay safe when working near underground power cables and overhead power lines.
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Health Benefits of Lifelong Learning
Whenever we introduce new skills and knowledge into our daily life, we give ourselves an opportunity to open our minds and appreciate and explore new opportunities. Using online employer and employee training opportunities provide a flexible and inexpensive way to create and ongoing learning culture