Gas and electrical safety at work

The Food and Occupational Health Team is responsible for enforcing electrical and gas safety within the majority of commercial premises including cafes, restaurants, hotels and guest houses. 

Electrical safety

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. However, the Regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently (ie they don't make inspection or testing of electrical appliances a legal requirement, nor do they make it a legal requirement to undertake this annually).

You must assess the risks of your use of electricity at work and take steps to control these risks - from ensuring electrical installations are safe and providing suitable equipment to carrying out preventative maintenance and ensuring safe systems of work.

BS: 7671 (IEE Wiring Regulations, 17th Edition) states that the frequency of inspection and testing electrical installation in commercial premises should be a maximum of 5 years between inspections (SI 1989 No. 365 The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989).

PAT testing

As stated above the regulations do not impose a legal requirement on frequency of testing of equipment. The frequency of inspection and testing depends upon the type of equipment and the environment it is used in. For guidance on suggested frequencies of inspection and testing, see: Maintaining portable and transportable electrical equipment.

Gas safety

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 requires all employers to ensure that gas appliances, flues, pipe work and safety devices are maintained in a safe condition. They should be inspected by a competent person in accordance with current industry practice. Periods between inspections may vary depending on the equipment and its use and should follow manufacturer’s recommendations, but as a general rule annual inspections are required.

Gas Safe

Anyone carrying out work on gas must be registered with Gas Safe. If not, they are breaking the law and putting you and your workforce at risk. Only a Gas Safe Registered Engineer is legally allowed to install and maintain gas appliances, boilers, hobs, ovens or fires in your home or workplace.

Gas Safe Registered engineers are registered by:

  • Services Provided (domestic, commercial or both)
  • Gas Type (natural gas, LPG or both) and
  • Areas of Work (for example engineers will need to obtain a special qualification to work on commercial catering equipment).

When you engage a gas engineer you must make sure they are suitably qualified to work in the area you require.

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