Electricity at Work Policy

Adam Slater

Duty Authorised Person for HV Electrical Installation

Matthew Chadwick

Duty Authorised Person for LV Electrical Installation



Loughborough University recognises its duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (“the Act”), and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, (“the Regulations”) to provide a safe and healthy working environment by ensuring that precautions are taken against the risk of death or personal injury from the use of electricity in work activities.

Furthermore, the University will ensure that electrical systems are constructed and maintained so as to prevent danger, and the use and maintenance of an electrical system, and work near a system, shall not give rise to danger.


This policy and appendices apply to all electrical systems and equipment including the University High Voltage (HV) distribution ring main (Loughborough campus only) located in both the Loughborough and London Campus. All duties under the Regulations apply to the protection of employees. For the purposes of this policy students shall be afforded the same level of protection under the Regulations as members of staff. The Regulations impose responsibilities on the University, its employees and students, requiring them to conform with this policy and thereby the Regulations, in every respect.

Other individuals e.g. visitors and contractors are also protected by this policy insofar as the Regulations are applicable.

The arrangements necessary to fulfil the requirements of this policy are set out in Section 3 (Duty Holders) of this document and in Appendix C - Guidance on completing an electrical risk assessment.

In addition, Appendix E is produced, ‘Low Voltage Electricity System Safety Rules and Associated Safety Guidance which should be read in conjunction with this policy.

Key Legislative Requirements

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (“the Act”), the employer has general duties to ensure the health, safety and welfare of his employees at work. Employers also have duties to persons other than their employees who may be affected by their undertaking. Furthermore, employees have duties to their employer and others whilst at work.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

These regulations require employers to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk to the health and safety both of their employees, and of other persons arising out of or in connection with, the conduct of their undertaking. Guidance on completing an electrical risk assessment can be found in Appendix C. This information should be used as the basis for all electrical risk assessments.

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

These regulations require employers to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk to the health and safety both of their employees, and of other persons arising out of or in connection with, the conduct of their undertaking. Guidance on completing an electrical risk assessment can be found in Appendix C. This information should be used as the basis for all electrical risk assessments.

3 Persons on whom duties are imposed by the Regulations Duties fall to employers, the self employed and employees
4 Systems, work activities and protective equipment

Systems shall be constructed and maintained so as to prevent danger. Work on or near a system shall not give rise to danger.

Equipment provided for the protection of people at work shall be suitable and properly used.

5 Strength and capability of electrical equipment The strength and capability of electrical equipment shall not be exceeded whilst in use.
6 Adverse or hazardous environments Electrical equipment exposed to damage, adverse conditions, effects or substances must be constructed so as to prevent danger.
7 Insulation, protection and placing of conductors All conductors which give rise to danger shall either be suitably insulated or have precautions taken in respect of them so as to prevent danger.
8 Earthing or other suitable precautions Precautions shall be taken either by earthing or other means to prevent danger when a conductor becomes charged as a result of a fault or when the system is in use.
9 Integrity of referenced conductors The object is to prevent referenced circuit conductors from reaching significantly different potentials thereby giving rise to possible danger.
10 Connections In order to prevent danger, every joint and connection shall be suitable for use.
11 Means for protecting from excess of current Efficient means suitably located, shall be provided to protect all of the system so as to prevent danger.
12 Means for cutting off the supply and for isolation In order to prevent danger, suitable means shall be available for cutting and isolating electrical equipment from the electricity supply.
13 Precautions for work on equipment made dead Precautions shall be taken to ensure equipment is made dead, so work can be done on it, or near it, and it cannot become electrically charged
14 Work on or near live conductors No person shall be engaged in live work unless (a) it is unreasonable in all the circumstances for it to be dead; and (b) it is reasonable in all the circumstances for him to be at work on or near it while it is live; and (c) suitable precautions (including where necessary the provision of suitable protective equipment) are taken to prevent injury
15 Working space, access and lighting When working on electrical equipment, adequate space, access and lighting shall be provided
16 Persons to be competent to prevent danger and injury When carrying out work which requires technical knowledge or experience to prevent danger or injury, that person must possess that knowledge and experience or must be appropriately supervised
29 Defence It shall be a defence for any person to prove that he took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of that offence.


BS 7671:2018 Requirements for Electrical installations. IET Wiring Regulations 18th edition (“the Wiring Regulations”)

The Wiring Regulations are non-statutory regulations and have the status of a British Standard. They relate to the design, selection, erection, inspection and testing of electrical installations, whether permanent or temporary, in or about buildings, including construction sites. Compliance with the Wiring Regulations is likely to achieve compliance with the relevant aspects of the Regulations.

The Building Regulations 2010

Part P of the Building Regulations 2010, entitled; “Electrical safety”, applies to electrical installations that are intended to operate at low or extra Low Voltage (LV) in buildings or parts of buildings comprising dwelling houses and flats, dwellings and business premises with a shared supply, common areas in blocks of flats, such as corridors and staircases and shared amenities of blocks of flats such as laundries and kitchens. They apply to fixed electrical installations which are not controlled by the Regulations.

Duty Holders

The responsibilities of Duty Holders are outlined below:

Heads of Schools/Professional Services

Heads of Schools / Professional Services shall:

  1. Ensure that systems better or equal are in place to comply with this policy.
  2. Appoint (in writing) one or more departmental competent persons
  3. Ensure appropriate risk assessments are carried out and recorded where necessary before electrical work is undertaken. In particularly, in respect of project work, e.g. the construction of electrical rigs. Electrical equipment must be included in activity-based and/or machinery risk assessments, where appropriate.
  4. Ensure responsible persons identified in this policy know and discharge their duties in accordance with this policy
  5. Whilst Facilities Services (FS) are responsible for all fixed electrical installations and infrastructure. Heads of Schools / Professional Services are responsible for School / Department / Professional Service owned or leased equipment, including portable appliances, and for any wiring installations and equipment supplied from the fixed installation power socket or isolator.
  6. Ensure that under no circumstances, Schools / Departments / Professional Services, interfere with the fixed electrical systems or give instructions to any contractor concerning any work on the electrical distribution system without first seeking FS approval.

Operations Managers

Operations Managers shall:

  1. Ensure that systems are in place to control the purchasing or introduction into the department of electrical equipment. A register shall be kept within the department for this purpose.
  2. Ensure that adequate resources are made available to implement this policy, in particular, sufficient resources to install and maintain effective control measures in accordance with statutory requirements.
  3. Ensure sufficient information, instruction and training is provided in order to enable staff to comply with this policy.
  4. Seek confirmation from departmental staff that arrangements are still effective. This duty shall be discharged by submitting an annual report to the University’s Health, Safety and Environment Committee, (HSEC), when requested to do so by the University Health & Safety Service (H&SS).

Facilities Services

FS shall:

  1. Identify, tag and compile a register of items of electrical plant and equipment that have been installed following an electrical risk assessment whenever this apparatus forms part of the University FS estate.
  2. Ensure that items on the register are thoroughly inspected and tested at a frequency not less than that stipulated in the attached Code of Practice.
  3. Ensure that where necessary the inspection/testing of fixed wire electrical services will be notified to the relevant SSO / DSO’s, and remedial action instigated where required. Reports of results of any tests / inspections will be available upon request.
  4. Support University Schools / Professional Services / Departments by providing upon request technical advice on plant, equipment or engineering controls that is or shall be provided, following an Electricity at work risk assessment.
  5. Keep records of testing for at least 5 years

University Health and Safety Service

The Health & Safety Service shall:

  1. On request, provide information and guidance to staff on electrical safety.
  2. Support Heads of Schools / Departments / Professional Services in their duty to provide sufficient resources and suitable training to enable staff to comply with this policy.

Safety Officers

SSO’s / DSO’s shall:

  • Monitor the effectiveness of any control measures and make recommendations to the Head of School as necessary. In particular, SSO’s / DSO’s are expected to:
    • monitor that any electrical equipment introduced into the department is done so in accordance with departmental policies and that the departmental register of portable (& transportable) electrical equipment is maintained
    • periodically inspect risk assessment documentation to verify that suitable and sufficient assessments are in place and that they are reviewed and updated when required.
    • verify that plant, equipment and engineering controls are maintained in accordance with the agreed schedule.
    • liaise with departmental competent person(s) to verify that suitable working practices have been adopted
  • Report accidents involving exposure to electricity, to the H&SS.

Responsible Competent Person(s)

(NB; These nominations shall be made and approved in writing by the Heads of Schools / Heads of Department / Professional Services to suit the individual needs of their School / Department / Support Service.

The responsible competent person(s) shall:

  1. Coordinate the registration of new and existing electrical items.
  2. Carry out suitable and sufficient assessments of exposure to electrical hazards and record the assessment. Guidance on completing an Electrical Risk assessment can be found in Appendix C.
  3. Identify suitable control measures and monitor and record the ongoing compliance with the control measures.
  4. Ensure the inspection and / or testing of new and existing portable (and transportable) electrical equipment is undertaken, in line with Appendix A, B, the guidance note; “Guidance on the inspection & testing of portable and transportable) electrical appliances” and the results should be recorded a maintenance log,
  5. Record and where practicable, rectify deficiencies or report problems to the SSO / DSO as necessary.
  6. Provide sufficient information, instruction and supervision to employees and students to ensure that they are able to work safely with electricity and electrical equipment.
  7. The Electrical Duty Authorised Person (DAP) shall review and, so often as is necessary, amend the University’s Electricity at Work Policy and CoP. The Electrical DAP shall also monitor compliance with the Electricity at Work Policy and Code of Practice, in conjunction with Departments, Managers and H&SS.

Employees and Students

  1. Attend training as required by the SSO / DSO.
  2. Any portable (& transportable) electrical equipment brought into the School / Department / Professional Service, other than by normal School / Departmental / Professional Service procurement procedures, must be reported to the SSO / DSO / Nominated competent person and tested in accordance with this policy.
  3. Cooperate with the University to implement any control measures identified in the electricity risk assessments.
  4. Report any defects or deficiencies in these measures (e.g. concerns regarding the effectiveness of engineering controls.)
  5. Ensure that all electrical domestic appliance brought onto campus by resident students living in University residential accommodation, conforms to current safety standards, and is maintained in such a condition so as to prevent danger to themselves or others, or damage to University property.
  6. Comply with the guidance note; “Guidance on the inspection & testing of portable and transportable) electrical appliances”.

Contractors and Visitors

  1. Equipment belonging to and used by persons visiting the University, must be in an electrically safe condition. The University reserves the right to prohibit the use of any electrical equipment brought onto the campus by a visitor which does not meet the requirements of this policy and CoP.
  2. Equipment belonging to, and used by, contractors of the University must have a valid test certificate or label attached which is available for inspection upon request by any University employee. If the equipment does not possess the relevant safety documentation it will not be allowed onto campus.

Any electrically powered tools used by contractors shall be 110 volt supplied by a centre tapped to earth transformer or battery powered. Mains operated 240 volt tools shall not be permitted for use on campus unless approved in writing by an authorised representative from LU.