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Electric Cable Health and Safety

Electricity provides a significant risk to the health and safety of people, whether it be in the home or at a place of work. With the introduction and adoption of wire-free electricity still some way off despite advances), this means that for the foreseeable future electricity will still need to be carried around by protective insulated cables. Whilst these provide suitable protection when functioning correctly and in good condition, they are vulnerable to damage which can then expose the bare wires beneath, creating the potential for electrical shocks, burns and fires.

A large number of cables are suitable only for indoor use and for relatively gentle wear and tear. However, many machines will be used outside, particularly in industries such as the construction industry, and the protection of the casing around the wires in an electrical cable may not be able to withstand the harsh conditions faced outdoors if it is not specifically designed for such an environment. This includes water from rain or wet ground, wearing against abrasive surfaces, chewed by animals such as squirrels, being run over by vehicles or walked over by feet, cut by sharp objects, damaged through bending, pulling, stretching etc and many more. It also needs to be taken into account that not only is it the cable for the particular piece of equipment that can be damaged, but also the cabling of any extension cables that are required when working outdoors.

Cables also pose a health and safety risk when they are not damaged, in the form of trip hazards which can cause people to fall and injure themselves, perhaps severely if they hit their head or break a bone when they land. A place of work such as an office often has a great deal of electrical cabling and wiring for equipment like telephones, photocopiers, vending machines, portable heaters or fans, computers etc. This makes the trip hazards posed by cables and wires a significant element of office safety and an issue to look out for when performing risk assessments.

On a construction site, overhead power cables which carry high voltage electricity can be hit by a construction site vehicle or underground cables can be struck when performing excavation work. Suitable precautions and comprehensive site surveys are essential therefore to help minimise the risk of an accident or incident occurring with electricity on a construction site.

Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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