HSE and electrical safety

Under UK law the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act) in Great Britain or the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 in Northern Ireland employers are responsible for ensuring the safety and health of their employees and also the public, if they are at risk from those work activities. This includes electrical safety.

Electrical Inspectors aim to reduce the number of electrical accidents by enforcing the law, providing advice on good working practices, and developing guidance in response to technical changes in equipment and working methods.

Electrical Inspectors work in cooperation with other responsible bodies including The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), Local Authority Standards departments and The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem).

Electricity supply

Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC)   enforces the continuity and quality aspects of the Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002 . For further information contact the DECC Inspectorate at DECC. HSE enforces the safety aspects of these regulations. There are particular reporting requirements placed on distributors under these regulations, these are separate to reporting requirements under RIDDOR.

The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) look after the interests of electricity consumers. This is principally a financial role, monitoring electricity generation, distribution and supply. For further information contact Ofgem.

The address of your nearest Health and Safety Executive office can be found on the HSE's website. For some workplaces (such as offices, shops, hotels, many warehouses) the Local Authority enforces electrical safety regulations, generally its environmental services department. HSE and the Local Authorities work together to provide consistent advice and enforcement by means of a liaison committee (HELA).
Annual electrical accident statistics in the workplace can be found in the HSE Annual Report and in the HSE Health and Safety Statistics, also published each year.

Further information about these publications is available from HSE Books.

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Updated 2023-01-09