Health & Safety Executive GS38 guidance note is aimed at people who use electrical test equipment on low voltage circuits. Institution (BSI) guidance and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance Regulations lists HSE Guidance Note GS38 – Electrical test equipment. This is a free-to-download, web-friendly version of GS38 (First edition, published ). This version has been adapted for online use from HSE’s current printed.

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This website uses non-intrusive cookies to improve your user experience. There are several points highlighted here that should be considered closely when it comes to test equipment selection. Precautions before testing This section has been expanded upon to recognise additional test processes covered by the guidance note.

An important point raised in the causes of accidents is the use of multimeters. When it comes to buying new voltage detectors, you can be sure compliance with GS38 if the unit you are buying complies to BS EN Two key points have been added to the examples of common problems to look for: Risky business Vehicle safety on farms Kidsafe: Only devices which make contact with the conductor ie not proximity devices should be used for proving dead.

This is an important safety issue as using equipment that is not correctly rated for the installation category can and has resulted in serious injury and death.

Safe working practices Memorandum of guidance on the Electricity at Work Regulation. Whenever there are changes made to legislation and best practice, questions are often raised regarding existing equipment and whether it can still be used. This section has some in-depth points regarding correct equipment selection.

Hse guidance note gs38:

If you find you have leads or test equipment that no longer meet these requirements, or have been damaged, it would be advisable to replace them to ensure your ongoing safety. Examination of equipment The changes here are mainly with the wording, however this section does highlight the need to maintain regular checks of test equipment and that these should be carried out by a competent person. See also Electrical safety at work Safe maintenance Risk management The health and safety toolbox – how to control risks at work.

A brief guide Electricity at work: Specific requirements for test leads In line with changes made to the standards that cover the manufacture of test leads, there are some specific requirements that leads should comply with added in the fourth edition: When it comes to proving dead this has always been advised against by Electrical Safety First previously the Electrical Safety Council.


General changes The guidance note has been amended to reflect the wide range of people who work on electrical systems, particularly those where electrical testing is not a primary activity such as gas installers and alarm installers.

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These regular references to CAT safety ratings in the fourth edition of GS38 highlight the importance of hae that you have the right equipment and test leads for the job. The document provides advice and guidance on how to work safely and ensure the right equipment is used and maintained properly. A footnote has been added to clarify that live working is defined as any testing or fault finding on live systems.

A newly added paragraph touches on the importance or carrying out risk assessments, putting into place relevant safety measures and the use of appropriate PPE. The Regulations permit few circumstances where it is acceptable for live working activities hae be carried out on electrical equipment or systems, this includes electrical testing and fault finding.

You can visit our cookie privacy page for more information. This should be done preferably on a voltage proving unit some devices have built-in proving units or otherwise on a known live source of similar voltage to the circuit under test providing precautions are taken to prevent danger arising.

For loop impedance, RCD or multifunction testers, the fuse will typically be 10A.

Electrical test equipment for use on low voltage electrical systems

Clarification of the different installation categories BS EN CAT ratings is included fs38 the guidance note as a reference and a visual guide is available to download at the end of this article. This has changed in the fourth edition, emphasising the importance of using test leads and test equipment that is suitable for the category of the installation.

This standard, which came into full effect in Mayis the standard that all new two pole voltage indicators should comply with. This includes electrical testing where dead tests are often as effective as live measurements.

If you are unsure as to what test leads you need to use, speak to our technical team on The guidance has not fundamentally changed from the previous version.

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However, non-contact or proximity devices can be useful in indicating if something is live, eg when attempting to remove a single cable installed in trunking containing many single cables. For multimeters, fused leads should have a high-breaking capacity fuse hbc or hrc with a current rating that usually should not exceed mA. While it has fundamentally remained the same as the previous version, there are some key additions that could affect the way you test, or the equipment you are using.


Related products Electrical safety and you: GS38 Fourth edition Download a free copy. This has he new paragraph added regarding the use of non-contact detectors, or volt sticks: There are particular requirements for the use of non-contact devices in coalmines.

Such devices should be proved before and after use. This approach would derate the measuring equipment to the lower rating. Setting the multimeter to the wrong voltage range will lead to a false reading, but having it set to measure current or resistance can result in excessive current being drawn through the test probes, leads and multimeter.

However, if those leads are not rated to the same category as your installation, you could be putting yourself at risk. The fourth edition of GS38 makes two important points regarding the purchase of new equipment and the gs338 of older equipment. A final change regarding test leads relates to the use of fused leads. This fourth edition includes current test equipment and references and links to further guidance have been updated.

For existing leads and equipment predating these standards, or manufactured to a different standard, GS38 states they must be maintained to prevent danger and should comply with the guidance probes and clips in paragraph 9 download the full guidance note below. If your leads break during testing it can be easy to swap them for another set from a multimeter or clamp meter.

HSE aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. The Electricity at Work Regulations require those in control of all or part of an electrical system to ensure it is safe to use and maintained in a safe condition.

Updates regarding the causes of accidents This section has been expanded on to include additional issues that have been raised since the previous publication: Is this page useful?

Other changes include the use of proving units, non-contact voltage detectors and installation category ratings.