A very useful safety device for electrical systems is a Residual Current Device (RCD). Built into either the main supply or a socket itself, it means that supply cables are permanently protected from faults but more importantly, can protect people from electric shock as well …
RCDs The Benefits Of Residual Current Devices
If it’s not possible to build them into the electrical system itself, a plug can incorporate an RCD and you can also get plug-in RCD adaptors that sit between the wall and the equipment being powered. RCDs for protecting people have a rated tripping current of not more than 30 milliamps.
“RCDs are valuable safety devices. Never try to bypass one as that could be hazardous to your health!”
If the RCD trips, it is a sign there is a fault, so you should check your equipment before using it again. Sometimes, they are a little over sensitive, so if it trips regularly then check with the manufacturer and think about replacing it. A qualified electrician or electrical testing company like FTS Safety Solutions will be able to help. Most faults with RCDs can usually be identified by an informal visual inspection.
It is important that before an item is used again, a check is made on the plug, cable, cable-entry or input socket as well as the casing of the equipment. If a fault is identified with it, the item should be removed from use and repaired before being used again. Staff should be trained to carry out these simple visual checks where possible.However, all electrical equipment and installations should be regularly maintained to prevent danger. The maintenance schedule should include an appropriate system of formal visual inspection and where necessary, testing.
Factors to consider include:
Type of equipment.
Where equipment is used.
Is equipment portable or transportable?
Is it used in a harsh environment?
Fixed installations should also be inspected and tested periodically by a competent person. Records of the results of inspection and testing can be useful in assessing the effectiveness of the electrical systems.
To keep yourself safe:Always ensure that people working with electricity are competent to do the job. Even simple tasks such as wiring a plug can lead to danger so people must know what they are doing before they start.
Suspect or faulty equipment should be taken out of use immediately.
Suspect or faulty equipment should be labelled ‘DO NOT USE’.
Suspect or faulty equipment is kept secure until examined by a competent person.
Where possible, tools and power socket-outlets are switched off before plugging in or unplugging equipment.
Equipment is switched off and/or unplugged before cleaning or making adjustments.
Where possible, all electrical appliances are switched off at the mains at the end of the working day.
More complicated tasks, such as equipment repairs or alterations to an electrical installation, should only be tackled by people with knowledge of the risks and the precautions needed.
“Work on exposed live parts of equipment and systems must not be carried out unless it is absolutely unavoidable!”
But always ensure suitable precautions have been taken to prevent injury, both to the workers and to anyone else who may be in the area.
Until next time …If you are concerned about the electrical safety of any equipment you may be using, want to know more about RCDs or would like to discuss safety testing your electrical systems and appliances call me on 0330 6600264 today and let’s see how I can help.