With Christmas and New Year out the way, many businesses look to kick-start January with a recruitment drive. Budgets are in place for new hires and potential candidates are active in their search for something ‘new’.
It’s a fact that increasing your staff headcount impacts your workplace appliances. It puts extra pressure on those you currently have. And you may well require more equipment to be brought in. So, if you’re recruiting, how can you ensure ongoing electrical safety compliance in the workplace? We look at how recruitment impacts your workplace appliances…
Have a plan for equipment needs
On average, in an office, a new staff member will require several things. A telephone, computer or laptop, and at least one monitor to work from. They may also have a company mobile phone for which they will require a charger. That or they will use their own. Depending on your company size and budget, there are several options for sourcing your necessary workplace appliances.
Ideally you will have a plan in place for this. Your plan will outline how many new recruits you’re taking on and what each person will need. This will help you source the right items through a reputable supplier. Without a plan, you may find yourself looking to alternative means to get your staff up and running. And these could be a lot riskier.
Be careful using older appliances
Sometimes buying brand new equipment for new starters is too costly. You may look to use older equipment you have on-site instead. If these items don’t appear on your appliance equipment register and haven’t been tested in a while, then beware. We highly recommend them being checked over before being used. There may be good reason for them having been taken out of use in the first instance. And even if your using them as a temporary solution until your new equipment purchases arrive, it’s better to err on the side of caution. Have them tested for safety and peace of mind.
What to look for when buying refurbished electrical equipment
Cost and other reasons may see you look to the next best thing from buying brand new, and that’s buying refurbished electrical equipment. For laptops especially, this is common practice with many businesses. It can save you a significant amount, and you will be doing your bit for the environment.
Just make sure you’re buying from reputable vendors. Ideally buy from those outlets who offer a stamp or guarantee that items have been professionally restored by a manufacturer-approved vendor. If in doubt over any refurbished appliance purchases, have a local PAT tester come and check the equipment out.
It’s always best to buy new
For the ultimate peace of mind and if budget allows, then buy new. There’s no need to have new items tested, as the UK HSE (Health and Safety Executive) explains, “New equipment should be supplied in a safe condition and not require a formal portable appliance inspection or test. However, a simple visual check is recommended to verify the item is not damaged.”
You can have brand new workplace appliances tested for extra safety. When we test them, we will add them to your equipment register. By adding them to your register, when we next come to do your appliance inspection, we can easily account for them. It saves any confusion over what appliances you have.
This of course is entirely your choice. When you think of how little time and cost it takes, testing them is a useful exercise. It’s also worth making sure that when you buy new, everything comes in its original packaging with instructions. We recommend having someone within the business able and capable to give new items a full visual check to make sure there’s no damage.
Watch out for overloading sockets
The other danger to look out for as you grow your business and increase office headcount is overloading sockets. Yes, a PAT tester has tested your appliances and they’re safe. However, it’s important to not have too many extension cables running from the sockets, with multiple appliances connected. Overloading sockets increases the risk of an accident or a fire. If you don’t have enough sockets for your staff to operate their equipment, then it’s important to call in an electrician.
Other appliances needing special attention
In the colder months we’re using appliances such as heaters, microwaves, and kettles more often. When recruiting more staff, these appliances can be used even more often. You will no doubt already have these items on your register, having them tested regularly. However, we recommend advising staff members to be vigilant, to report any signs of damage or fault with them.
Another risk to workplace safety is when staff decide to bring in their own appliances, for their own comfort. This is often the case with heaters, desk fans, and mobile phone chargers. Items like these pose the biggest risk. Mainly because it’s likely they won’t get ever get tested. But also, their origin and condition are unknown and as such, they may potentially be dangerous. We recommend any items of this nature brought into the workplace be subject to a complete visual inspection. Checking the appliance over carefully as well as its wiring and any extra components could make a massive difference.
If you’re growing your business this year and will be recruiting more staff alongside adding to your inventory of electrical appliances, we can help with any concerns or queries over new or old equipment. Or if you’re keen to get started with regular PAT testing of your organisation’s appliances for the year ahead, contact us for a free, no obligation quote.