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Are you working to outdated wiring regulations?

The Institution of Engineering and Technology is warning that UK electricians could be failing to comply with the latest IET Wiring Regulations. In fact, the IET reports that as many as 76% of electricians in the UK could be operating without a copy of the IET Wiring Regulations, 17th Edition, BS 7671:2008 incorporating Amendment No.1, 2011.

The IET Wiring Regulations, which came into effect on 1 January 2012, are designed to promote electrical safety. Although not statutory itself, installing to the requirements of the IET Wiring Regulations is likely to achieve compliance with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and also meet the requirements of the Building Regulations of England and Wales, of Scotland and of Northern Ireland.

In addition, the latest IET Wiring Regulations contain a number of changes, including new forms for inspection reporting and entirely new sections relating to electromagnetic disturbances, devices for protection against overvoltage, medical locations and operating and maintenance gangways. It is important that electricians are aware of these changes in order to carry out their work in a competent and capable manner.

Geoff Cronshaw, Chief Electrical Engineer at the IET (pictured) said: “The news that 66,000 copies of the new IET Wiring Regulations have been sold since publication in July 2011 means that there could still be around 211,000 electricians who don’t own a copy.

“Although many organisations are likely to have a shared copy of the new IET Wiring Regulations, it is likely that there are still a huge number of electricians out there working to obsolete regulations.

Geoff Cronshaw, Chief Electrical Engineer at the IET

“As joint publisher of BS 7671:2008(2011), the IET is the authority on the requirements for electrical installations and the amended IET Wiring Regulations is the standard to which the electrical industry must comply. The Regulations adopt the technical requirements of both European and international standards that the UK has to implement. It is important that all designers and electrical installers familiarise themselves with the amended IET Wiring Regulations to ensure that the work they do complies with the current standard.”

Giuliano Digilio, Head of Technical Services at the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) added: “It is worrying to think that so many electricians could potentially be operating without reference to a copy of the updated IET Wiring Regulations. It is a requirement for membership of the ECA that all installation activities comply with the requirements of the IET Wiring Regulations and owning an up-to-date copy of the Regulations is a large part of demonstrating compliance. Amendment No. 1 contains many changes which are important to all electrical designers and installers and affect all installations, so we are urging electrical installers across the UK to ensure that they are working to the current edition.”

The amended IET Wiring Regulations has been jointly published by the IET and the British Standards Institution (BSI) and sets the national standard to which all new electrical installations are to comply. The 17th Edition, which was published in 2008, has been updated to align with the European and international standards of CENELEC and IEC.

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