West Midlands based Wilmat Limited has recently launched a campaign to highlight the issues associated with handling switchgear and low voltage circuit breakers safely. The call comes after research into how regular maintenance and the effective safe handling of switchgear and circuit breaker equipment can not only reduce accidents but can also make bottom line cost savings in the process.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics show that 10 per cent of fatalities at work are through electricity-related incidents; they also believe that this type of accident is seriously under reported. Accidents related to low voltage switchgear account for up to 24 per cent of electrical fatalities and as much as 36 per cent is due to bad maintenance practice.
As Andy Capella, Sales and Technical Director at Wilmat Limited explained: "We’ve discovered that the safe handling of circuit breakers is an area that tends to get dismissed as unimportant or over looked completely. For example, research has found an inconsistency in the maintenance and service operations of switchgear across the industry. This is something that we felt needed to be put right."
To address these issues Wilmat Limited has launched a dedicated website www.switchgeartrucks.com and produced an expert guide ‘Handling Switchgear Safely.’ The guide has been developed out of the research findings and has adopted good working practices from industry, with input from the HSE.
"The expert guide is just the start of the campaign," said Andy Capella. "We want to raise industry awareness to the potential risks through mismanagement of switchgear maintenance. Our guide is the first step in trying to bring some regularity and best practice to the industry."