5 steps to safe working around electricity for heating and plumbing engineers

Steve Dunning, Managing Director of Martindale Electric explains how remembering a simple acronym can help safeguard heating and plumbing engineers.

It’s not just electricians who need to be aware of the dangers of working with electricity. As a plumbing and heating engineer, you may be installing products and heating systems that require some kind of electrical work.

Over 16 years since the tragic death of 26-year-old electrician, Michael Adamson, there sadly remain unacceptable levels of accidents and fatalities related to electrical working.

Michael was an experienced electrician who lost his life in a preventable electrical incident in 2005 when called to an “all hands on deck” job to help get the gym within a large sports shop up and running. Cutting a cable marked “NOT IN USE” which was, in fact, wired into a distribution board and not safely isolated, Michael suffered a fatal electric shock, robbing him of his future.

Now, in an ongoing bid to safeguard workplaces – and protect the lives of anyone working on or near an electrical installation – Martindale has created a new, simplified version of its more extensive and detailed process in the hope that its memorable acronym – “ALIVE” – will help to prevent injuries and save lives.

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.

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 memorable “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.

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 hard working people will go home safely to their families at the end of their working day. It really is as simple as that.

Downloadable ALIVE resources for heating and plumbing installers are available on the campaign page at the company’s website: https://martindale-electric.co.uk/5-steps-safe-isolation/