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The Importance of Electrical Safety in the Workplace
Posted by David Cant on May 17, 2011

Electrical safety in the workplace is crucial and something that all business owners and business managers should be aware of.

First of all it is the legal responsibility of business owners to ensure people working for them are safe at all times. Everyone has a right to work in a safe environment. Therefore if you have people working for you, you need to ensure they can carry out tasks safely. Of course accidents happen and there is always the possibility that something could go wrong, but employers need to do everything that is reasonable to keep their employees as safe as possible. If an accident occurs that is deemed the employers fault then they could be held legally responsible. In the worst case scenario this could mean facing criminal charges.

It is important that business owners and managers make sure that all electrical equipment is tested regularly to ensure their safety is maintained. This not only ensures the safety of everyone in the workplace but also that the equipment being used is working as efficiently as possible. If there is any equipment that is not 100% safe then it should be taken out of service immediately. There are different ways that electrical equipment can be tested. Testing it yourself is one option, as is using PAT testing services, where electrical equipment is given a pass or fail sticker depending on whether it is fit for purpose or not.

It is not just making sure equipment can be used safely that is important, but also making sure employees are properly trained to use the equipment. If someone is told to use something they aren’t trained to and there is an accident, then the employer could be held responsible. The legal side is not the only reason though; employers don’t want their employees working in a dangerous environment and staff will work more efficiently if they have been sufficiently trained.

There are many areas where electrical equipment can be used in the workplace depending on the type of business. Below are some examples of where electrical safety can be an issue in the workplace:


It may not always seem it but computers being used in an office environment can pose a safety threat. Computers should only be purchased if they have been properly tested. It is not just when they are new though; they need to be tested on a regular basis thereafter. Unlike home computers, computers in the workplace may be being used all day, every day, therefore increasing the chances of something going wrong.

Till Points in Shops

Till’s are essentially computers and the same dangers are relevant. They are in constant use and need to be maintained properly. If there are electrical problems with till’s it is not only the staff that are in danger, but also customers as till’s are on the shop floor.

Kitchen Equipment in Cafes and Restaurants

In cafes and restaurants all sorts of electrical appliances are used for cooking; for example ovens, kettles, coffee machines, blenders and food processors. In this sort of environment accidents can be quite common as it is a fast pace of work and water may be being used alongside electrical equipment. This makes it even more important that appliances are fit for use.


Factories can be very different depending on what is being made but most are reliant on electrical equipment. In a factory the consequences of using unsafe equipment can be catastrophic with the possibility of serious injury and people’s lives being put at risk. This makes maintaining and regularly testing electrical equipment extremely important.

In short, electrical safety is always important in the workplace. It is the legal responsibility of employers to make sure their employees are always working in a safe environment and they need to do everything they can to ensure electrical safety.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Health and Safety Services, Workplace Safety


  1. September 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    A great article on workplace electrical safety. For those that work daily with electrics, it’s worth remembering that electrical PPE should always be worn in any situation whereby a person is at risk of electrical flash events. Even so it should be a last line of defence as no equipment can be 100% guaranteed. Safety strategies and risk management strategies should be in place prior to work beginning and where possible, work should not be done on live systems.

  2. Ronald Dilidili
    November 19, 2012 at 2:22 am

    Great site! for all engineers like me who practice safety in our work area. Yes I believe sometimes safety is being neglected specially wearing those safety apparels so we need to be strict and ask our management to support our risk and hazard management system all through out.

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