Wednesday, 30 August 2017

How Electrically Safe is your Business?

The legislation regarding Health & Safety for a business is very clear, employers have a duty to look after the Health and Welfare of their employees, plus including visitors, the general public, customers and volunteers. 

In terms of Electrical Safety there are some specific pieces of legislation which should be adhered to, but as a recent survey discovered, (See results at end of this blog) many employers / businesses either are do not know what is expected of them or just dismiss precautions as a waste of money. 

Here are some extracts from the relevant regulations:

Regulation 4(2) of the Electricity at Work Regulations:
“ As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far is reasonably practical, such danger”

Regulation 4(2) of the Electricity at Work Regulations:
“Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair”

Regulation 6 of the Electricity at Work Regulations:
“….includes a requirement that equipment shall be inspected at regular intervals and records kept”

Appliances and equipment are a major cause of electrically caused fires and injuries, a simple fault with an electrical appliance can cause a large amount of damage, heartache, tragedy and cost to your business. 

What cost do we put on safety? As regulation 4(2) states: ." far as reasonably practicable....". This suggests that if maintaining your equipment is too difficult and costs too much, then you do not have to comply! However, it is simply a matter of balancing the Risk against the other considerations, ie., cost, effort etc. But the fact of the matter is, it is very easy and inexpensive to implement an electrical safety regime, no matter how large or small the business is!

What do employers / businesses in reality have to do to comply?
To comply an employer has to implement a regime which includes, some tests & inspections, some training and some record keeping. 

1. Informal inspections by employees or staff members before using an electrical item (No need to keep records of these inspections)
2. Formal Visual Inspections of the item at regular intervals by a person (can be an employee) who is deemed competent to do so (Keep records of these inspections)
3. Formal Testing of the item at regular intervals by a person who is competent to do so (The competent person can be either an employee or an outside contractor who has had the required training to do so and keep records of these inspections)

Staff and users of the items should have basic training as to what look for
Competent Person- Training to undertake a formal visual inspection and how to log the results and Formal Testing, if this is to be done in-house

Keep a log of all electrical items, frequencies of inspections and tests and results

Although the law talks about maintaining electrical equipment, it does not specify how....although it is the accepted standard that the Institution of Engineers and Technicians (IET) who used to be known as the IEE, offer the guidance in the correct manner to maintain electrical equipment through a Code of Practice which includes the commonly known Portable Appliance Testing, or "PAT Testing". 

How would you feel if an employee or a member of the public was injured by one of your appliances? 

How would your insurance company view it?
Can you see the question?
"When was the item tested? Can we see the records?" 

Would your answer be:
1. "We have have no records, never had it tested? Did not feel the need"
2. "Here are the records, it was tested on XXX date"

What do you think the Insurance Company's response would be?

Some Myths busted:

PAT testing is not a legal requirement!
Maintaining your equipment is!

PAT Testing is not done every 12 months!
The regime should include a schedule of both Visual and Testing based on a number of factors including, type of item, environment it is used in and a few others.

Electrical Items all have a sticker with an expiry date on!
That used to be the case, new recommendations are that the sticker only has a test date on. Plus the item does not even need a sticker (though good practice to have one anyway) the records have all the dates etc.

A word of warning:
There is a very wide range of price differences in relation to PAT Testing, do not take the cheapest....get some different prices, in addition to the testing itself, there is also a paperwork and record keeping element to it also, check out what you exactly get for your money? 

In conclusion:
So as a business owner, employer, Chairman of a Community Centre, do you feel you are compliant? What do you have to do next?

There are many companies who offer PAT Testing and some which offer training.  Get Technology Together C.I.C. (GTT) are a not-for profit company who in addition to providing Technology Training also offer a comprehensive PAT Testing Service, which includes Training & Consultancy.
  • Users- To know what to look for
  • Manager / Employers - Know what their responsibilities are
  • Competent Person - A staff member to undertake visual inspections
  • PAT Technician - A staff member to undertake the Testing in-house
  • A PAT Testing Service 
  • A Consultancy Service - Set up the regime and advise the best options
GTT Staff have many years experience and qualifications, plus DBS checked, Public Liability Insurance. Check out their web site:

GTT Can be contacted at    07754 391498

Local Business Survey Results:
A tour around 30 shops and local business in South Leeds to inquire about PAT Testing:

  • 3 shops said they sorted although none had any stickers on appliances
  • 26 shops had no clue what were were talking about.
  • 1 shop did say he did need it doing and was waiting for his electrician to get back to him.

A very poor state of affairs when 87% of the survey resulted in 'No CLUE'

Friday, 17 August 2012

On line personal journal/diary- DAYONE

DAYONE is an app for the MAC, Ipod touch, iPhone or iPad. It is an online diary which is synced up between your devices using iCloud. It works very well, allowing multiple entries per day if you wish, each with its own date and time stamp, full editing facility and just recently enhancements to add photo, auto weather and location tags. Other facilities include export to printer and external file system. The beauty of this is that you can start an entry on the iPAD anywhere, then continue when you get home on the MAC. 

I have tried the paper journal, but soon converted to this....

Unfortunately it is only available for MAC and IOS

A taste of India in Rothwell - MIRCHiZ

Thursday night at Mirchiz in Rothwell is special deal night, very good food, great price and most of all plenty of it. It is a non licensed place so you can take your own alcohol and chose from their Bistro menu £8.95, take a look at their menu....well recommended...

Viber- Free calls, messages and Picture Messages for FREE..

is an app for both IOS and Android Phones and it allows instant contact to others via your internet settings, either on WiFi if in range and via 3G if outside. For Voice it works like SKYPE and for messages it is like Blackberry BBM or  "Whatsapp". It works very well, once installed it checks your phone book and indicates which of your friends already have it, i was surprised just how many of my friends were already using it.

Someone asked "whats the point, I have unlimited texts and 1000 minutes on my contract", well if you are a PAYG then it is well worth it, but even on contract, picture messages usually cost 50p or so on the phone, on VIBER it is free.  Other advantage is that if you go abroad and can get the Hotel WiFi then calls home are free contract or not.

Free download, no adverts, nothing hidden as far as I can give it a go, my username is my mobile number which is on my web site.
visit them at  

Friday, 13 July 2012

Mini PC on a Budget

This small Mini PC based using the Android OS, is ideal for connecting to your lounge TV, it is small, about the size of a mobi phone, the picture shows a 50p piece for size comparison.

It comes with a PSU (mobi phone type), a HDMI lead, a mini USB lead and a USB to mini adapter. All you have to do is connect it to the PSU, plug into the HDMI of your own TV and plus in (ideally) a wireless keyboard and mouse (I bought a new Microsoft combi kit for £20 at PC World) and there you have it, a PC to surfe and do all the things an Android would do, it is equipped with WiFi and there is a slot for a Micro SD card for storage. 

If you are an Android user already, then getting used to it would be quick and easy, but be warned, it is not the same as a Windows PC or is it fast as one, but it does the job.

Just sit in front of the telly and surf away...or whatever. As with all Android kit, it can be synced to your google account and you just download apps from the Playstore.

If you have got one or used one, lets know of your experiences.

Friday, 23 December 2011

What is a Kindle

Just though it worth making some notes about KINDLE, as on the run up to Christmas this year, many people have talked about Kindle without really knowing how it works.

KINDLE is an ebook system created by AMAZON, and within this system, books are available to download (some free and some pay) from the Amazon web site. However, the item which is being advertised on TV is the KINDLE READER, which is available in a couple of versions, WiFi only and WiFi & 3G.

It works like this:
You login into your Amazon account and buy a ebook (or 'buy' a free book for £0), the book is then added to your library.
Once in your library (on Amazon's Server), you can download to your 'reader'

Your 'Reader': 
This can be either the KINDLE READER (or DEVICE), or to any of the free applications which can sit on your other 'devices' , like your PC, MAC, Smartphone (Android, iPhone) or Android Tablet or iPAD. The Android and Apples devices also have their own ebook systems, (ibooks or Aldiko Books) which yo can subscribe to and use if you like, but once you have a KINDLE Account...any device will do. Once purchased, you can download to more than one device.

So you do not have to wait to buy a KINDLE Device to take advantage of the KINDLE System. Although the Kindle reader is a great holiday / travel device, nice and light, low power usage, but this is because there is no backlight so just like a normal book a light to read by is needed.

I have downloaded both novels and technical manuals to my Kindle and found that reading a novel is a good experience, but trying to use it as a technical manual is not as good and a traditional paper version would be better. 

There is a new Kindle Reader Device for sale now, it is a smaller version without the 3G and a keyboard, and is cheaper, well worth the money.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Thompson House

My late wife Melanie Thompson worked at Leeds Federated Housing Association for over 15 years. Melanie sadly lost her fight with Cancer on 16th August 2010.  To remember her huge contribution to LFHA, the company has named one of their newly refurbished houses in her memory.
The Warden’s House at Oaktree Court Sheltered Housing Complex on Oaktree Drive, Gipton, has been converted into a 3 person & 1 carer self contained living unit.
The residents moved into their new house on 4th June and the family attended an official naming ceremony on the 5th Sept. This is a fitting tribute to Melanie and her years of work for LFHA. The family feel very privileged and thank LFHA for granting this tremendous honour in memory of Melanie. there are some photos and a link to a video on Youtube.