Scottish trade body targets safe isolation

Running under the banner ‘Work dead safely: Stay alive’, the Scotland’s trade body has produced a new animation, brochure and infographic to stress the importance of observing correct safe isolation procedures.

It also reinforces the dangers of not isolating safely, with case studies of electricians who have been burned, scarred for life and even killed in preventable electrical incidents caused by a lack of safe isolation.

The advice and guidance – which includes ‘Ten steps to safe isolation’ – is aimed at electricians who are recent entrants to the profession as well as apprentices in training, but Select said that the shrewd common sense of the messages is relevant to even the most experienced electrician.

Dave Forrester, head of technical services at Select, said: “This is an important initiative in which we must stress and stress again that we work in a complex and dangerous environment in which safety must come first regardless of the circumstances.

“Many of us in this sector know that not isolating safely can have horrific consequences, including electric shock and burns, some tragically fatal. Contact with an electrical current can lead to heart failure and burning of the skin and even internal organs.

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“Working with the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB), we at Select will do everything in our power to hammer home the urgent necessity of following the guidance and carrying out the checks that employers put in place.”

The messaging, which is designed to be shared online, on site and in offices and colleges, clearly explains the importance of ensuring that supply is cut off from all, or any discrete part of, an installation by separating it from every source of electrical supply.

Fiona Harper, secretary of the SJIB, said: “Safe isolation is a vital procedure to ensure that anyone working on or near live electrical systems isn’t exposed to danger or death. Having the procedures clearly documented will protect and benefit everyone in the sector.

“The information is designed not only to encourage greater safety – and awareness of safety – but also as a tool for apprentices and others to ensure that best practice is ingrained from the outset.”

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