Electrical Testing

Discussion in 'Science Technicians - General Discussion' started by Ricky Tan, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. I have just been informed by our site manager, that tech technicians will be required to carry out user checks each term and each item must be recorded. We have over 100 electrical items and from September I will be the only technician working here as it stands.

    In regards to electrical equipment safety, what requirements or checks do you have to carry out on science equipment?
     
  2. NTG

    NTG

    Have you been trained to carry out whatever tests you are expected to do ? If PAT testing, do you actually have the equipment ?? Just a couple of initial thoughts.....
     
  3. I would ask the site manager what you are supposed to be checking? If you're doing PAT testing, that has to be done by a 'competent person' so if you don't feel comfortable doing it, ask for some training.

    In terms of electrical safety, it's things like making sure the power cords/plugs are in a good condition, making sure the fuses in the plugs are the correct rating. Making sure a child can't 'accidentally' stick their finger in any equipment and get hurt... Nothing too major
     
  4. Apparently we should be doing these checks on a termly basis tho. This means doing the checks every term and recording them not just when they are given out by us for lessons.
     
  5. Oh ok, I see what they're saying, it's just creating a physical record that you have done the check then. Nothing as much as PAT testing, it's just making sure that the equipment is usable, which I'm sure you do anyway.
     
  6. It sounds to me like they want you to do the PAT on all electrical items. This too me is a much better idea than having an external company come in and do the work. I have come across external companies in the past who don't do as good a check on items that end of the day are handled by children; that and they are more familiar with how to test a kettle than a van der graaf.
    You will need to request that you go on a course to learn how to carry out such tests (CLEAPSS have such a course) so that you can show you are a 'competent person', plus goes towards CPD. for the most part the tests are easy to do especially with smarter PAT testing machines. It is just time consuming and repetitive.
    At my last place long before I joined the school sent a whole group to get PAT trained. the idea was to spread the load of the work so the whole school wasn't done by one or two people. It later turned out that many items hadn't been done because they couldnt' be bothered and there was no one making sure it was done. the only place it was done in science. plus there were records going back 20 years as proof for all 700+ items. said records had 'saved' the school on a number of occasions to show that PAT was done (even though it is not a legal requirement).
     
  7. Nick Mitchener

    Nick Mitchener COMMITTEE

    The equipment needs an annual recorded test (or other period decided by those responsible) plus a visual inspection by teachers who are responsible for safety in the classroom or laboratory.If they are asking for a record of the visual inspection that doesn't sound too arduous. I have 3-400 items in physics to look after, around half of those are power supplies of one form or another, perhaps 100 are bench supplies.
     
  8. Our site manager does all the PAT testing, I check cables as the stuff goes out, but that's about it. A lot of the electrical equipment (especially old physics stuff) never gets used, so it would be waste of my time to get it out of a box each year to look at it... then put it back in.

    Repair wise, I'll change the fuse, bulb whatever, and if that doesn't work - it goes in the 'broken' pile. Our physics tech was brilliant at repairs (he had a background in arcade/jukebox restoration), but 'they' made him redundant...
     
  9. If not in job description, don't do it. Also sounds like bad planning and organisation.
    Remember the phrase "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine."
     
    Mandy, NTG and stelden like this.
  10. user checks means the user checks it, if he means PAT testing this is yearly at least not termly.

    You cannot be a competent person if you have not been trained.
     
  11. The period of formal visual/full testing need not be either yearly or termly but as determined by the employer. A visual inspection should be carried out by the user prior to using a piece of equipment on every occasion.
     
  12. Nick Mitchener

    Nick Mitchener COMMITTEE

    Yes, the employer could decide never, but that would make proving they had met their responsibilities more problemmatical. CLEAPSS give guidance on this and as they are our H&S advisor we follow it. However I have introduced a new label for things I was testing more often than they are used. It just says "Rarely used, check last test was within two years before use." I test them when I need them if they are outside the two years.
     
  13. No manoeuvrability for me to exceed the test periods laid down and certainly not to introduce my own labelling system as described. :eek: In such a case the item would be stored in a secure location and only tested if it was required.
     
  14. Nick Mitchener

    Nick Mitchener COMMITTEE

    everything here is in a secure location. The test period is two years.
     
  15. Me and one of my other techs are PAT test trained but I tell all my techs to give everything a look over and check the leads are still in a good condition.
     
  16. PhysicsSimon

    PhysicsSimon COMMITTEE

    Every 12 months for physics mains equipment (approx 500 items - am full time so split them up between the 6 holidays). I keep the records on a spreadsheet so finding out what needs doing next is simply a matter of applying a filter. Did have it all sorted until some gimpoid bagged our labs at Easter for revision classes without telling, which has caused me to change it so the prep room stuff gets done then, the labs in other hols. Our school H&S policy used to say ALL equipment every 12 months - on querying this I was told yup, this includes IT stuff too.....it's taken me 2 years & having to join the H&S committee to do it but I've finally got this particular requirement dropped :)
     
  17. Does anyone know the regulations for labelling class 1, 2 etc.

    All the computers here have power bricks which are not labelled but are probably Class 1 Group 2 so should probably have a IEC/ISO symbol 6092

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Dod

    Dod

    Also if not labelled, its a fail.
    And I have discovered quite a few unlabelled stuff and a fail often offends cos they use it all the time.
     
  19. but do you have anything in writing saying labelling is required for a Class 1 group 2 functional earth.
     
  20. Dod

    Dod

    Should have been more specific .. -- .. No Class 1, 2 or any Class labelling at all