Fixed Testing: What Is It?

Fixed testing is sometimes known as periodic testing, fixed wire testing, hard wire testing, EICR, periodic inspection and testing, or electrical installation condition reporting- they all mean the same thing. It is the process of testing electrical services and systems that are conducting electricity throughout a building. This includes ALL hardware, e.g. main panels, lights, power outlets, temperature systems, distribution boards etc.

The testing process combines both visual inspection and electrical testing, combining both practices means the results are more accurate and reliable. With electrical items, you can never be too careful as they have the ability to electrocute or cause a fire if not properly checked. Engineers conducting the tests should use all historical data available to them including previous test results, documented electrical items and circuit labellings to inform their next test. Although electricals need to be regularly tested, they should not be a disturbance to the user. If inconvenience does occur, it will need to be discussed with the user to find a suitable time and should be completed as quick as possible whilst remaining thorough and effective.

Although the process will most likely cause disruption, the safety requirements mean all equipment should be consistently tested in order for it to be safe to use. However, it can always be done outside of working hours, therefore, will not affect business productivity. Whenever you perform any testing, it is required you record the results. The name of this record is the Electrical Installation Condition Report, information such as date tested, date of the previous test, the outcome of the test, any fixing, is it safe to use, does it need further repairs, any areas of concern, schedule of future inspections etc. will all be included in the report.

If any dangerous concerns are made, you should instantly make the correct precautions to fix or remove the issue in order to provide a safe environment for the engineer, staff and visitors of the building. Electrical precautions should always be made, better to be safe than sorry.

At OCD FM, we provide Fixed Testing in our Electrical And Mechanical Services so that our clients never compromise the safety of their staff or fail to comply with their legislative obligations. To find out more about the service we offer, call us on 01353 886 890 or email us at info@ocd-fm.com

Why You Need To Conduct Health And Safety Assessments

It has been seen that the topic of health and safety has essentially become taboo in the world of business. With the employer’s responsibilities around safety increasing, you are obliged to ensure the workplace is in line with specific laws and codes depending on industry. If you cannot comply you could face legal action, higher insurance premiums or even fines which can make some companies go bankrupt. The after effects of poor health and safety are not ideal and all companies should take their assessments seriously and regularly to ensure they are truly safe. In essence, there are 3 main reasons as to why you should be making sure you have appropriate measures and documents in place, keep reading to find out.

High insurance premium rates and fines – When deciding on an insurance company they will require a copy of your most recent health and safety assessment and will need to know how regularly you do this. Insurance costs are high regardless, but if they can prove you are not taking the safety of your business seriously they can increases prices even further. If you can show you have consistent assessments and checks you will be moved into the lower risk category, in turn, a lower premium price.

If a business is found to be unsafe they can encounter fines, the figure depends on the company’s turnover but for some, this could easily creep into the millions. It is not only the fines itself which will affect your business, it is also the press attached to being fined which will significantly alter how your brand will be perceived by customers. You may survive the large fine, but could you survive the damage to your reputation? Most could not.

Your reputation – Similar to the above point, your brand identity is everything. Without it, your company will struggle to continue making a profit. The same way health and safety breaches can negatively affect a business, a well-managed organisation who are in line with appropriate health laws can benefit highly. By being known to follow such guidelines it will give you the competitive edge, positive press and could even be your niche- all will translate into customer loyalty and sales.

Ethical business – As much as you need to have health and safety assessments to be in line with the law, you also need to think ethically and morally in regards to the safety of your employees, customers and any other visitors. In most cases, lack of efficiency could mean minor injury or damage to the property and can sometimes be fatal. Therefore, you should be doing everything in your power to prevent this.

If you have any concerns regarding health and safety assessments, or the specific Facilities Management Services we provide, speak to us today by giving us a call on 01353 886 890 or email us at info@ocd-fm.com

The Importance Of Fire Assessments For Your Business

Regardless of your business, you have a legal requirement to provide a fire-safe working environment for your staff, visitors and customers. You are required to have a written fire risk assessment if you have 5 or more employees. If you do not, you could incur penalties or even imprisonment. A fire assessment will not only mean you are in line with the law, but you will be able to minimise the risk of fire on your property, saving lives and preventing damage.

It is understandable that not all accidents can be avoided, but having a thorough and efficient assessment in place will identify potential risks and areas for improvement. By being aware of these, the possibility of a fire-related incident decreases significantly. Within the written document you must:

Identify any fire-related hazards
Pinpoint who could be harmed;
How they can be harmed
Evaluate the potential risks
Consider controls to prevent the risks
Record hazard findings
Implement methods to remove/reduce hazards
Check control measures are in place, if not implement them
Review the risk assessment every year and after any incident between then

A one-size-fits-all approach simply does not work. Every property and business is different, therefore must be tailored to the specific needs of the property. The type of business will also mean a difference, for example, a residential, educational and healthcare premises will differ from a shop and office. A professional and experienced service provider will be able to outline everything YOU need in order to be safe and compliant.

The main aim of the document is to outline hazards then reduce or remove them, but there are many other factors to also consider to ensure a high level of safety. Those include:

Fire detection
Warning systems
Fire doors
Emergency routes
Emergency exits
Firefighting equipment e.g. extinguishers, blanket, hose etc.
Evacuation Plan
Any vulnerable people on premises– elderly, children, disabled
Fire safety training

Ask yourself, would you be able to demonstrate legal competence in court if your own assessment was deemed to be unsuitable or insufficient? If you answered no or are unsure, we recommend that you contact us and let us do the hard work for you. You can then ensure it is completed correctly, safely and in line with legislative obligations.

If you have any questions about Fire Assessments and why you need to have sufficient and regular assessments, call us on 01353 886 890 or email us at info@ocd-fm.com