The use of electricity in quarries, associated plant and equipment has been regulated since 1938, in the intervening time the safety climate has greatly changed. The introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974, Quarries Regulations 1999 and a raft of subordinate legislation has removed the prescriptive requirements of the early Regulations and replaced them with modern regulations requiring that health and safety be properly and effectively managed.
Electricity regulations generally deal with the safety of electrical equipment and electrical work practices so as to prevent electrical danger, i.e. shock, burn and explosion. The Quarries Regulations 1999 requires all health and safety to be properly managed and the management arrangements to be included in the health and safety document. This guidance has to encompass both requirements and aims to give quarry operators, electrical staff and contractor’s information on the topics to be included in the health and safety document.
In addition to electrical dangers arising from electric shock or burns, electrical equipment plays an important part in the integrity or safety of machinery, for example emergency stopping systems and guard interlocking for machinery, access arrangements for robotic enclosures etc. and where non electrical risks can occur from the failure of electrical equipment. These systems, which deal with non-electrical risks, are also be covered by this guidance.
In parallel with the modernisation of health and safety legislation, British, European and International standards and codes of practice such as BS7671 have developed to standardise the construction, installation, maintenance and safe operation of electrical equipment and work practices to ensure compliance with the electrical safety regulations and the standards for inspection and testing of electrical equipment and systems.
This guidance covers the generalities of the Management System for Electrical Installations at quarries, associated non quarry sites and mobile equipment. The requirements are to be included in the health and safety document. It therefore details the requirements such as the management structure, authorisation and competence of staff, risk assessments etc. as well as electrical requirements detailing the construction and installation of electrical equipment, safe use of equipment and inspection, testing and maintenance of equipment, safety rules, procedures and safety systems for machinery etc.
Where words/phrases such as ‘advised,’ ‘recommended,’ and ‘may be fitted’ are used in this guidance they are not mandatory. However, where alternatives to this guidance are used, they must still comply as a minimum to current legislation, HSE guidance and established standards.
This guidance applies to the whole of the quarrying industry and associated businesses
- All electrical systems and equipment.
- Mobile equipment.
- All equipment used by and all work activities undertaken by staff and contractors on or near electrical equipment.
This guidance does not cover the electrical components on wheeled or tracked mobile plant where the sole source of the electrical supply is from batteries rated up to 120V DC and any equipment that falls under specific regulations for example locomotives and sea going vessels