Michael, an experienced electrician, lost his life in a preventable electrical incident in 2005. He was called to an all-hands-on-deck job where he cut a cable marked ‘NOT IN USE’, which was wired into a distribution board and not safely isolated. Michael suffered a fatal electric shock, robbing him of his future.
To prevent such fatalities, various approaches in electrical safety and safe isolation have been developed over the years, including a comprehensive guide created by the Electrical Safety Roundtable, which proposes the all-important lock-off kit should be included in the essential PPE list for electrical workers.
ALIVE: the five 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 is 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.
Steve Dunning, managing director of Martindale, said: “In creating our ‘ALIVE’ message, we are distinguishing between good working practice and shining a spotlight on the five steps that must be carried out for your own protection and to prevent loss of life.
“The 12-step approach includes activities that should certainly take place, particularly in terms of compliance; both sets of process and procedure are valid and complementary, but by streamlining the message and focusing on the most vital elements, following the ALIVE process is what will keep you alive.
“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.”
Steve Dunning continues: “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 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.”
For more information about the safety steps, see here https://martindale-electric.co.uk/5-steps-safe-isolation/