Best practices for electrical safety in industrial environments

Health and safety considerations are key when managing any industrial operation. It encompasses many aspects of the processes taking place within the facility, as well as the systems associated with various commercial assets. In the case of electrical safety, this includes machinery, equipment, and the building itself. In this post, we’ll be covering why proper electrical safety practices are important, especially for businesses that are scaling operations, and providing advice on how to implement these measures.

 

Electrical systems commonly seen in industrial environments

Industrial facilities typically feature a large number of systems, equipment, and machinery, all of which requires electricity to function. These features and the electrical systems that come with them, will be specific to the industry the factory is operating in. For example, robotics automation is commonly seen in manufacturing plants with long assembly lines such as in the automotive industry. Another example would be conveyor belt and weigher systems in the food manufacturing industry.

Regardless of what industry your company resides in or the type of work it completes on a day-to-day basis, the following are electrical systems commonly found in industrial environments:

  • Lighting – in industrial settings, lighting must be adequate and efficient for the tasks and processes that need to be carried out during the day. Lighting systems can vary greatly in how they are connected within the facility and the components they contain.
  • Motor Control Centres (MCCs) – electric motors are frequently used in industrial settings to operate machinery and implement automation.
  • Power distribution networks – this includes transformers, control panels, transistors, switchgears, and other components to distribute electricity to various areas throughout a facility.
  • Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) – these specialised computers are designed to execute a series of commands that control other systems and devices throughout the facility.

The mechanical and electrical services offered by FESS Group encompass all aspects of M&E systems. This includes project management, design, installation, machinery maintenance, and safety. We adapt our recommendations to fit the size and nature of your business, thereby ensuring your key electrical systems remain operational.

 

Best practices electrical safety checklist

Electrical systems typically contain many intricate components that ensure their overall functionality. Monitoring these systems therefore not only helps make your industrial facility a safe place to work, but it also allows you to maintain a high level of operational efficiency.

In a similar manner to preventative maintenance, manufacturers should have a schedule in place for checking electrical systems regularly. This will help reveal any defective components or systems which could pose a safety risk.

There are many kinds of safety equipment that can protect workers from electrical harm. This includes PPE(personal protective equipment), electrical safety mats, Portable Appliance testers(PAT), electrical safety posters, and more.

It is a legal requirement for employers to make sure that any electrical equipment and systems are safe under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Another important piece of legislation to be aware of is the IET Wiring Regulations (BS 7671 electrical safety certificate) introduced in 2019.

Every workplace comes with its own unique health and safety risks. Getting input from an experienced factory consultant can provide the insight you need for your operation and allow you to formulate a comprehensive electrical safety risk assessment.

Looking to outsource outsourced health and safety monitoring?

FESS Group supports manufacturers in health and safety efforts by providing a designated on-site coordinator to oversee the systems and protocols that are in place. This is an additional resource intended to work within your established team. As such, our experts take the time to understand how your operation works, your factory layout design, and what kind of electrical systems are used in your industrial operations. Contact FESS for more detail of our electrical services and health and safety support.

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