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Topic Title: Advice Please
Topic Summary: Advice needed on how to proceed with a potential compromising of electrical safety.
Created On: 23 April 2013 06:12 PM
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 23 April 2013 06:12 PM
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allaway

Posts: 101
Joined: 08 July 2007

I will not go into details about where this is and the actual issue but would like some advice on how to proceed.

There is a club that I belong to and over the years I have noticed a few possible electrical safety problems - I would say minor but safety is not a minor issue, although to resolve the problems could be just a minor change. When I have reported the problems they have dealt with them, albeit rather slowly.

Recently I have noticed another issue where electrical safety may be compromised, it would take a specific set of circumstances to occur, but the issue is that they could. I have raised the issue with senior management - who after 2 days said that "someone would get back to me". Now, 7 days after the initial report, the problem still exists and no one has actually contacted me.

Questions:

How long would you leave te issue before raising it at an even more senior level?

Where else would you suggest it could be reported?

And how long would you give management to respond before escalating it outside the organisation?





I
 23 April 2013 06:22 PM
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dg66

Posts: 1676
Joined: 11 January 2008

As you dont go into detail ,its hard to comment.What you deem to be unsafe may be compliant with the regs and be safe,as at the moment its just your opinion on something thats unspecifed.

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Regards

Dave(not Cockburn)
 23 April 2013 07:35 PM
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perspicacious

Posts: 7267
Joined: 18 April 2006

"I have raised the issue"

Has this been recorded in the club minutes so that any other member can read it?

Regards

BOD
 23 April 2013 07:45 PM
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davezawadi

Posts: 2815
Joined: 26 June 2002

I can see no reason why you cannot describe the alleged problem, after all no one knows where it may be.
In answer to your questions:
If the problem has been reported it is no longer your responsibility. There is a duty of care upon the club management, but how they discharge this is up to them, and there is no requirement for them to report back to you. You may still feel some responsibility but the power is not in your hands to do very much.
I am curious as to what action was taken on your previous observations, as this will undoubtedly affect the reaction to the present one. I suggest that you might gain some useful views here given a description, and this may settle the feeling you obviously have that "something should be done". In the final instance a report could be made to the HSE, but this would almost certainly set you at odds with the club, and could easily loose you friends.

I hope that helps a little.

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David
CEng etc, don't ask, its a result not a question!
 23 April 2013 08:08 PM
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allaway

Posts: 101
Joined: 08 July 2007

It is a commercial sports club rather than member owned. My reports have been verbal, by phone (recorded by them) and email.

The problems are not directly connection to the Regs but how the supply is used.

Three previous examples: Use of trailing extension leads around a swimming pool/wet area - the floor is permanently wet. Unused supplies being terminated in chocolate blocks but accessible to anyone. Standard twin sockets in use in an area that is jet washed several times a week - and the jet washing goes all over the low level sockets. The issues were never dealt with immediately and took weeks for them to resolve them.

They have a duty of care to the users/members and, to me, they appear to be ignoring it.

This time it is how sockets are used/abused. Non-standard plugs and devices being inserted into BS compliant sockets. Plastic pins inserted into the earth socket to move the protection offered by shutters to one side.

As I say, it would take a specific set of circumstances for a problem to occur but still, in my mind, a safety risk.
 23 April 2013 08:23 PM
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Cremeegg

Posts: 544
Joined: 13 July 2007

If you are minded to report it to the authorities then the responsibility for enforcing health and safety in this type of premises will lie with the Environmental Health Officers at the local Council in England & Wales.

If the club has a food operation - restaurant or bar then the EHO's should be in on a regular basis according to risk. Most clubs are pretty ropey and EHO's can often get involved in ensuring that the bacterial problems with swimming pools, jacuzzis, saunas, sun beds etc.
 23 April 2013 08:26 PM
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davezawadi

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I think you are on a fairly sticky wicket here, whilst using the wrong plugs (presumably 2 pin ones for foreign appliances) could present danger to members, it is really the person trying to plug them in who is at risk. This issue is not addressed by BS7671 (the wiring regulations) except that we have BS1363 plugs and sockets which are probably more resistant to this kind of thing than any other type from around the world I can remember. There is very little that can be done to stop idiots, and this is understood by the legal process. In this case I think you have done as much as is wise, sometimes there is a time to look the other way having made a protest.

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David
CEng etc, don't ask, its a result not a question!
 23 April 2013 08:32 PM
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OMS

Posts: 19896
Joined: 23 March 2004

Originally posted by: allaway

It is a commercial sports club rather than member owned. My reports have been verbal, by phone (recorded by them) and email.

Plus an EAWR issue as persons there will be employees


The problems are not directly connection to the Regs but how the supply is used.

I'd say that was directly connected to BS 7671


Three previous examples: Use of trailing extension leads around a swimming pool/wet area - the floor is permanently wet.

OK - not an immediate risk per se - but a practice that will undoubtedly lead to an incident I suspect. What functions do the leads have - ie what's plugged into them at poolside

Unused supplies being terminated in chocolate blocks but accessible to anyone.

Immediate direct contact shock risk I would say - isolation until remediated would be appropriate - immediate effect

Standard twin sockets in use in an area that is jet washed several times a week - and the jet washing goes all over the low level sockets.

OK - poor procedure with inappropriate IP rating of equipment - requires remedy but may not be immediately dangerous. - remember the jet wash operator is probably an employee - has he had any training and told not to hose the sockets (although he sounds like a person of limited mental capability)

The issues were never dealt with immediately and took weeks for them to resolve them.

OK - there would be a heirarchy of risk in place I suspect - item 2 I would thing would need urgent atention - the rest - initail investigation and then a course of action


They have a duty of care to the users/members and, to me, they appear to be ignoring it.

Not unusual - but most of the issues you raise are subjective anyway - it would need very specific circumstances for you (or others) to be at risk

This time it is how sockets are used/abused. Non-standard plugs and devices being inserted into BS compliant sockets.

How/why - direct failure to manage systems I'd say

Plastic pins inserted into the earth socket to move the protection offered by shutters to one side.

Again, why


As I say, it would take a specific set of circumstances for a problem to occur but still, in my mind, a safety risk.

For sure - all of life is risk, but I'd say there was quite a bit of mismanagment coupled with operator abuse going on here.

I guess you've done the right thing by raising the issue - if there is no improvement, vote with your feet and find another (safer) club.

It wont help you to know that some of my dealings with the "leisure" industry have oft resulted in the response "well, you have to live a little dangerously" when actually being piad to undertake safey audits for the client and coming across not disimilar issues to those you raise.




regards

OMS

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