A Guide to the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

  • Price: £3.60
  • Published: January 2016
  • Type: Business Information Factsheet
  • Format: PDF

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (the Regulations) impose duties on employers, employees and the self-employed to ensure that all electrical equipment and systems in the workplace are suitably constructed, maintained and operated in order to prevent risks to health and safety and to avoid injury where risks exist. The Regulations apply in England, Scotland and Wales. In Northern Ireland, similar provisions are made under the Electricity at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1991.

While the Regulations impose various obligations on employers, employees and the self-employed to ensure electrical safety, they do not set out specific measures that need to be followed. They apply in conjunction with other health and safety legislation, British and European standards and approved codes of practice published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

According to the HSE, around 1,000 electrical accidents are reported in the workplace each year, resulting in around 25 deaths. The main health risks from electricity are electric shock, burns, fire and explosion.

This factsheet explains what the Regulations cover, who they apply to and what obligations they impose, as well as the penalties for non-compliance. It also provides hints and tips and sources of further information.

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