New guidance set to improve the management of electrical systems

Monday 18 October saw the Electrical Safety Roundtable present its new guidance on How to Manage Electrical Systems in Higher-risk Buildings to a wide range of industry stakeholders. The online event saw over 50 organisations join the ESR in sharing its 106-page document with speakers Martin Simmonds, Chair of the Electrical Safety Roundtable Social Housing sub-group and Jon Vanstone, Chair of the Interim Industry Competence Committee.

Higher-risk Buildings (HRBs) present a unique challenge when considering the correct or best way to manage electrical Compliance and Risk. This is due to the nature of the asset as it houses multiple tenancies and multiple areas of risk which need to be independently managed. This guidance has been created to generate consistency within the industry and provide a user-friendly overview for those who may not be experts on the subject of electrical safety management and compliance within HRBs. It will present an opportunity for organisations to look critically at their current electrical safety management policy and see what more could be done and help those new to the industry, or those coming into new roles.

Commenting on the guidance and launch event, Peter Baker, Chief Inspector of Buildings at the Health and Safety Executive says: “Making high-rise buildings safer for residents is about understanding what can go wrong, how it can lead to a fire or structural problem, and what needs to be in place to prevent a serious incident and reduce its impact on people. Measures include having electrical and other building systems properly designed, installed, and maintained by competent people, and making sure safety systems work when you need them.

“The ESR guide is a welcome example of how industry has taken the initiative and is sharing the knowledge, experience and expertise of a number of organisations to help those responsible for the safety of high-rise buildings manage electrical safety risks and prepare for when the building safety reforms become law.”

Speaker at the event and Chair of the Interim Industry Competence Committee, Jon Vanstone comments: “It is great to see industry working together to produce such detailed guidance on the management and monitoring of electrical systems in higher-risk buildings. The guidance will no doubt be useful in raising awareness of the considerations, risks and complexities of the task of managing the electrical installations within higher-risk buildings and it is a great example of industry acting now to enhance safety in the sector, whilst we await the Building Safety Bill’s passage through Parliament.’

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