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Topic Title: 240 volt tools being used on site
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Created On: 18 November 2010 12:02 AM
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 18 November 2010 12:02 AM
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DOUGIE1000

Posts: 4183
Joined: 13 August 2005

Currently asked to PAT a large site, all workers are from Spain and their equipment is RCD at 30mA but all at voltages from 220-690volt all from gennerators.

All equipment is europeen plugtops and not fused although all double insulated impact drills like this

The 240 volt is used for power tools only and anything above is to power fixed equipment.

Any comments?

Edited to add, the equipment these guys are using well the >400volts is used to temp supply equipment.

-------------------------
Dougie
Power Plus Electrical.co.uk

My mission is to live as long as possible......so far so good!

Edited: 18 November 2010 at 12:11 AM by DOUGIE1000
 18 November 2010 12:28 AM
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kj scott

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EAWR does not restrict to a specific voltage; have a look at HSG141, which shows construction use of 240V with RCD's. Also BS 7671, 704.410.3.10, does not restrict to 110V, just gives a preference.

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http://www.niceic.biz
 18 November 2010 12:33 AM
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rocknroll

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The policy on this changed a while back to all 230V tools are prohibited unless agreed with an authorised person and RCD protected.

I was reading in a construction mag a while back that a number of manufacturers are no longer going to produce 110V tools which is understandable with the battery tool and the fact that you can use 230V tools with permission could see the demise of 110V.

regards

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"Take nothing but a picture,
leave nothing but footprints!"
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"Oh! The drama of it all."
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"You can throw all the philosophy you like at the problem, but at the end of the day it's just basic electrical theory!"
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 18 November 2010 07:48 AM
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Jaymack

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Originally posted by: DOUGIE1000
all workers are from Spain


I'd be interested in the local MP's response to this situation.

Regards
 18 November 2010 08:15 AM
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alancapon

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There was a story that it has come from the EC. As the UK is the only country (apart from us!) to use a centre-tapped 110v supply for hand-tools, it was judged to put European workers at a disadvantage, as they would not own any 110v equipment.

Regards,

Alan.
 18 November 2010 12:25 PM
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aligarjon

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on top of what has already been stated, you are checking that the equipment is safe, not where it is being used. Gary

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Specialised Subject. The Bleedin Obvious. John Cleese
 18 November 2010 12:30 PM
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iansettle

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Originally posted by: Jaymack

Originally posted by: DOUGIE1000

all workers are from Spain




I'd be interested in the local MP's response to this situation.



Regards



Probably didn't say a thing once he got his backhander
 18 November 2010 06:29 PM
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peteTLM

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On big sites (think mansels, interior, etc) its mandatory to wear glasses, thin gloves, boots, high vis, as it removes, as far as resonably practible, some element of risk.
I dont believe for a moment that any proper site would ever do away with 110v. I feel safer using it, especially when its raining, or your mate drags the extension lead through a puddle.
Every site ive ever worked on would never, never allow 230v.
Get a shock from 110 (55v) nothing happens, and the equipment is built to an industrial standard. 230v tools on the other hand are generally more flimsy and rubbish as they are meant for the home market in mind. Even 230v versions of 'trade' tools.

The rest of europe are 230v, so what. Spanish contractors can go out and buy some decent tools at 110v. If the job is really worth tendering for, then that can be factored in. Unless of course they are (of course they are) economic migrants just jobbing around.

P

P

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 18 November 2010 06:40 PM
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DOUGIE1000

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On same site where can I find documents showing male to male ext leads are a no no, (5pin 690 volts male 32amp industrial sockets on each end of a 2.5 mm artic flex)

-------------------------
Dougie
Power Plus Electrical.co.uk

My mission is to live as long as possible......so far so good!
 18 November 2010 06:54 PM
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peteTLM

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Dougie, you can prove it to them. All it takes is a quick phone call tyo the local HSE office, and they will come down and 'educate' them

P

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----------------------------------------
Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine....

Every man has to know his limitations- Dirty Harry
 18 November 2010 10:22 PM
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DOUGIE1000

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No this is a multi million £ company there hand tools makiata or bosch are only available in 110vc here.

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Dougie
Power Plus Electrical.co.uk

My mission is to live as long as possible......so far so good!
 19 November 2010 07:58 AM
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briggsy6

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Originally posted by: aligarjon

on top of what has already been stated, you are checking that the equipment is safe, not where it is being used. Gary


See Code of Practice, Chapter 14, page 67, para 14.2
 19 November 2010 08:54 PM
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adam123

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peteTLM you are absolutely spot on. Im on a site at the moment were i have to wear all normal PPE plus goggles, ear defenders and a face fitting dust mask to drill a 5.5mm hole in a wall. Not a cat in hells chance will they ever allow 230v on site
 19 November 2010 09:54 PM
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westfield6

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Originally posted by: alancapon

As the UK is the only country (apart from us!) to use a centre-tapped 110v supply for hand-tools,

Regards,



Alan.


Not true. Australia (though not part of the EU) uses 110v centre tapped supply for hand tools on site. But then I guess the aussies are only poms that have been touched by the sun.
 19 November 2010 10:15 PM
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tonyericsson

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I was always under the impression that 110v was a statutory requirement.

But I went to a site (as day rate sparks, not duty holder) a few years back where the guys were using 230v and a30mA RCD at the intake.

I questioned it with a guy I knew who was up on rules and regs. He reckoned it complied as the 30mA afforded the required safety. Down to touch voltage less than 50v and all that !

So I do not know exactly what the 'statutory' requirement is.

Obviously mandatory site rules will apply and if site agents rules require 110 then thats that end of.
 19 November 2010 10:20 PM
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tonyericsson

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704.410.3.10 (ii) seems to suggest 230 with RCD is OK ?
 20 November 2010 07:48 AM
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gkenyon

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The overview guidance from HSE on construction site supplies is found in HSG150:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg150.pdf

(even thought the link says "priced", it's free to download now, as are most HSE publications).


Look under "electricity" on pages 94-97.

Special locations and conditions (e.g. confined spaces) excepted, 110 V and/or cordless are highly recommended, and use of 230V tools is recommended to be "more appropriate to dry indoor sites where damage from heavy or sharp materials is unlikely."

One warning, though - if you want to read around electrical safety in construction, most HSE publications talking about this (even the newer ones) refer to a currently out-of-print HSG141 "Electrical Safety in Construction". I think the more resourceful may be able to obtain it, but if not it should be available from a library ??

This has a telling tale on page 11:

"if, having considered the hierarchy of risk control, a mains voltage (230 V) supply is selected for portable tools and equipment, additional precautions must be provided to reduce the risk to an acceptable level (see paragraph 70)."

And para 70 has a number of effective "conditions", e.g.:

-RCD must be used
-RCD operation to be checked daily with test button, and inspected weekly together with the equipment it is supplying during a formal visual inspection.
-RCD must be tested every 3 months by an electrician using appropriate test equipment.

along with other recommendations about the tools/equipment itself (e.g. must be fit for purpose, should be double insulated, etc.).


Conclusion:

HSE guidance is that 110 V RLV system should be used to "effectively eliminate" shock risks on construction sites. 230 V can be used, but only after risk assessment and suitable implementation/control measures are in place.

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Eur Ing Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
 20 November 2010 07:53 AM
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gkenyon

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Further to previous post, if you are asked to do this work on a construction site, then you should ask for, and be given, a risk assessment relevant to the work you are doing.

Since you are asked to provide a decision on suitability of equipment for this purpose, this could be construed as a "design decision" under CDM (applies even if it's a non-notifiable project), which you can't do without this risk assessment.

CDM says if you don't get the info, you shouldn't start work.

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Eur Ing Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
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