Electrical Safety

Electrical Safety

Three of the worst type of electrical hazards are: faulty or worn out equipment, exposure of live electrical parts to water and careless or unskilled workmanship.  None of these hazards need arise.

Staff and students should never attempt to interfere or repair electrical equipment, unless it is part of your job role and you are trained to safely carry out the repair.  Any plant/equipment found not to be working or in a dangerous condition should be reported immediately to your H&S Coordinator, who will arrange for a repair or replacement by suitably qualified technical staff.  The plant/equipment should be taken out of use until it is assessed.

Do not attempt to modify equipment which is not completely disconnected from the main.  If in doubt contact your College H&S Coordinator for advice.

All electrical equipment is to be serviced by qualified technical staff, or by Estates & Facilities Management (E&FM) appointed contractors.

E&FM Helpdesk: 5240

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

E&FM arrange annual testing to all portable electrical and electronic equipment across the University.  If you decommission a piece of equipment or purchase something new, please ensure that E&FM are informed in order to update the equipment register in preparation for testing. 

High Voltage

Staff or students requiring the use of high voltage equipment as part of their project or research, must inform the H&S Coordinator and a risk assessment is to be completed prior to the start of any work.  

External Supplies

From time to time there may be a need to supply electrical power to a temporary external structure, such as a marquee, covered stage, seating, etc.

When establishing an external power supply, manage the risk using the following:

  1. A generator;
  2. A large mains supply temporarily connected from a building to the marquee – you would require an electrician;
  3. Extension leads run from a building to the marquee (for short durations of around a week). This method should only be selected if the options cannot be achieved. 

If you need advice and support in establishing a suitable electrical supply contact E&FM.

The minimum requirements for anyone wanting a short term temporary electrical supply using extension leads will be:

  • The installation must be RCD protected;
  • The supply cable must be continuous, with no inter-connecting plugs, from the supply source (building socket) to inside its destination: Marquee, tent, Portakabin etc.;
  • Cables must be kept at a high level to negate trip hazards and to reduce the risk of damage to the cable;
  • All the equipment/ appliances used must be fit for purpose and have undergone a portable appliance test;
  • Supplies must be switched off when the unit is not occupied;
  • Cables must be unplugged and pulled back into the building overnight. 

General Electrical Safety & Housekeeping

  • Cables must not be trailed loosely across the floor or hang, they are to be strapped and secured in bundles either above head height on a purpose built gantry or along walls.
  • Extension leads must not be ‘daisy chained’ across the room to power a piece of equipment.  This must be avoided and an alternative achieved.
  • Extension leads must be fully unwound when in use. Failing to fully unwind the reel can cause it to overheat. A smoking extension lead can be a common occurrence when used wound up.
  • Do not use electrical equipment in or near water.
  • Cables and leads must be of a suitably covered material and adequately protected in environments where corrosive chemicals or solvents are used.
  • Adequate earths and suitable fuses should be used.  Do not rely on simple soldered joints for an earth connection but use a screw as well – the soldered joint may be dry.
  • Do not use cube adapters. These devices can easily be electrically overloaded and the weight of too many plugs and cables can loosen them from the socket and cause overheating which could lead to a fire.


Familiarise yourself with the emergency stop switches for the equipment in your work area and ensure you know where the main switches are.

For all emergencies call Security on 333.

Arrangements, guidance, forms & templates

Policy Arrangements


Further guidance will follow here.

Forms & Templates

Relevant forms & templates will be added here.

Further Information

Any further information will be added here.