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building regs regarding doing install in new factory

Postby rmcn51 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:08 pm

my employer has moved to a new factory , but has not done any work to install sufficent sockets and lighting to do the jobs , he now wants me to undertake this work , i am an electrician but am unsure where i stand legally on this , does this constitute factory maintenance or does it come under a new electrical installation , as i am not certificated to test and sign off any work done , they dont seem to understand that there are regulations in place that must be adhered to
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Postby ericmark » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:08 pm

As far as I could understand there is no qualification required to do any electrical work however the employer is under health and safety laws required to ensure all employees are trained to a level to be able to safely do their job.

This of course is a problem without any written facts to show an employee is trained and I use to do some training which involved a questionnaire that the students had to complete. This although they may not have realised it was my proof that not only had I told them what to do but also they had understood what I had said. They thought I was being kind to them by putting out the questionnaire before I started so they could fill it in as we went along.

The problem many of us have is when going for an interview we exaggerate our experience and knowledge and firms often keep copies of what we said we could do and to then at a latter date to try to claim one was not trained becomes a problem.

As an electrician we are expected to be able to design, install and test but as to how big of a design is not laid down. I was expected to install a concrete press and design and install all the distribution units plus write the PLC program. And although I did the work I did make mistakes. I failed to realise how compressed air reacts when things stick and it resulted in a guy losing the end of his finger. I had not included enough guards in my design. These were added after. However in real terms it was not up to me to work out what guards were installed however it was my job to decide where twin circuits were required and where single circuits were good enough.

In your case I fail to see the demarcation. With maintenance one needs to re-test and to satisfy oneself that items comply with BS7671:2008 in the same way as an installation guy does. That is all part of a maintenance electricians job. I can understand that when one is presented with a run of 50 meters to supply a machine taking 32A one can make mistakes with cable sizes and where a guy who does it all the time may realise it needs 10mm CSA because of length of run for the guy who only does it once in a blue moon he may have to get the calculator out first and so is much slower doing the same job. However if he is a real electrician (Not a 6 week retrain wonder) he should be able to do the work.

However I have many times told my employer I advise this is a specialist thing and you need to contract this work out. Or if I do this work between maintenance it will months I advise you get some contractors in. If you don't think you have the skill you must tell your employer you don't have skill. But in real terms that is hard. We have all had it. Mend that photostat machine. What me I don't work on them. Why? your an electrician aren't you? We have all had it. And we have to say "Yes but there are many types of electrician and that is not my field".

In all my years I have never made off Pyro cable and when asked I say so. No shame in it. OK I'll have a go but if I get it wrong you may have to have it all done again. They have always found some one else to do the job.

But it is down to you to say your not happy. For a domestic electrician there is Part P and maybe you could back heal the work but for commercial there is no qualification required. You could have come from Poland or Germany and have no British certificates but your still allowed to work.
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