Electricity: five steps to staying alive

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Published: 12 October 2021


Martindale Electric has launched its ALIVE electrical safety campaign, which simplifies the key steps to keep all tradespeople safe when working around electricity.

The campaign is aimed to raise awareness among all trades, particularly renewables, heating and plumbing installers, who may come onto site or into the workplace who also work with electricity. 

Steve Dunning, managing director, Martindale, said: “We need to acknowledge that, in terms of the safety of individuals, there is a difference between the activities that should take place prior to working, such as gaining permission and permits, for example, compared to the activities that are totally critical in terms of preventing accidents and fatalities. For instance, a risk assessment is a critical element of any job, but it is not core to safe isolation in terms of staying alive. The same is true for activities that take place after working on an electrical system, such as safe re-testing and start-up.

“We and the Electrical Safety Roundtable have both defined clear and comprehensive 12 step procedures that are well-documented but lives are still being lost – totally needlessly.

“In creating our ALIVE message, we are distinguishing between good working practice (such as our complete 12-step approach and the Electrical Safety Roundtable’s guidelines) and shining a spotlight on the 5 vital steps that absolutely must be carried out for your own protection and to prevent loss of life. The 12-step approach will include activities that should certainly take place, particularly in terms of compliance; both sets of process and procedure are valid and, in fact, complementary, but by streamlining the message and focusing on the most vital elements, following the “ALIVE” process is what will, quite literally, keep you alive.”

ALIVE: 5 fail-proof steps to safe isolation

A - Approved Kit
Before starting, make sure your equipment meets all legal safety standards (BS EN61243-3).

L - Lock Out
Identify the point of isolation – lock it off - and place warning tags onto the equipment.

I - Initial Prove
Test your Voltage Indicator against the proving unit to make sure that it’s working properly.

V - Voltage Test
Use your Voltage Indicator to confirm that there are no dangerous voltages in the circuit you are about to work on.

E - Ensure
Prove and re-test the Voltage Indicator against the proving unit to ensure it is working, before you start working on the circuit.

All Martindale electrical testing products will now be sold with a hard copy of the ALIVE message to ensure that it is shared as widely as possible and that the handy card remains accessible at all times to anyone working on or near electricity.

Steve Dunning added: “There are no reasonable circumstances in which you should be working with live equipment. By making this process as straightforward as possible, our hope is that more maintenance engineers, more technicians, more operatives, more hard working people will go home safely to their families at the end of their working day.  It really is as simple as that. Every life lost to such incidents is absolutely tragic. It is all of our responsibilities to prevent this from happening and we will not stop sharing this message until such fatalities are a thing of the past.”

Downloadable ALIVE resources for H&S managers are available on the campaign page at the Martindale website. 
https://martindale-electric.co.uk/5-steps-safe-isolation/