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 includes electrical testing where dead tests are often as effective as live measurements. Electrical test equipment for use on low voltage electrical systems Date of publication: However, if ge38 leads are not rated to the same category as your installation, you could be putting yourself at risk.

Hse guidance note gs38:

The document provides advice and guidance on how to work safely and ensure the right equipment is used and maintained properly. There are several points highlighted here that should be considered closely when it comes to test equipment selection.

HSE aims to reduce work-related death, hee and ill health. As a general rule, GS38 states that any equipment or test leads that conform to BS EN or BS EN will meet the requirements and be compliant, provided you have taken into consideration the installation category.

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. There are particular requirements for the use of non-contact devices in coalmines.

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: The fourth edition of GS38 makes two important points regarding the purchase of new equipment and the use of older equipment.

This document provides advice and guidance on how to achieve this. This has a new paragraph added regarding the use of non-contact detectors, gs83 volt sticks: Updates regarding the causes of accidents This section has been expanded on to include additional issues gs83 have been raised since the previous publication: Risky business Vehicle safety on farms Kidsafe: If you are unsure as to what test leads you need to use, speak to our technical team on You can visit our cookie privacy page for more information.

See also Electrical safety at work Safe maintenance Risk management The health and safety toolbox – how to control risks at work. 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.


hse guidance note gs38

Health and Safety Executive. This approach would derate the measuring equipment to the lower rating. Skip to content Skip to navigation.

A brief guide Electricity at work: Only devices which make contact with the conductor ie not proximity devices should be used for proving dead. 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. Other changes include the use of proving units, non-contact voltage detectors and installation category ratings.

Two key points have been added to the examples of common problems to look for: Throughout this section, revisions have been made to include the need for ongoing risk assessments to ensure safety is maintained as well as re-emphasis of the need for selecting the right CAT safety rating for the installation under test.

An important point raised in the causes of accidents is the use of multimeters. Precautions before testing This section has been expanded upon to recognise additional test processes covered by the guidance note. When it comes to proving dead this has always been advised against by Electrical Safety First previously the Electrical Safety Council. 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 The guidance has not fundamentally changed from the previous version.

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. 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.

Provided your existing equipment or leads meet either of the above there should be no need to replace anything until they need it. 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 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. A footnote has been added to clarify that live working is defined as any testing or fault finding on live systems.


For multimeters, fused leads should have a high-breaking capacity fuse hbc or hrc with a current rating that usually should not exceed mA. Related products Electrical safety and you: Is this page useful? Wherever possible, all work on electrical systems should be carried out with the system dead.

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Clarification of the different installation categories BS EN CAT ratings is included in the guidance note as a reference and a visual guide is available to download at the end of this article. Such devices should be proved before and after use. Firstly the Guidance Note has been amended to reflect relevant changes to the standard for two pole voltage indicators, BS EN The Regulations permit few circumstances where it is acceptable for live working activities to be carried out on electrical equipment or systems, this includes electrical testing and fault finding.

If your leads break during testing it can be easy to swap them for another set from a multimeter or clamp meter. Trusted by Professionals Search: 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.

This fourth edition includes current test equipment and references and links to further guidance have been updated. These regular references to CAT safety ratings in the fourth edition of GS38 highlight the importance of ensuring that you have the right equipment and test leads for the job. Safe working practices Memorandum of guidance on the Electricity at Work Regulation.

We look at the key changes in the fourth edition, the full version of which can be downloaded at the end of this article. A newly added hsd touches on the importance or carrying out risk assessments, putting into place relevant safety gs83 and the use of appropriate PPE.

For loop impedance, RCD or multifunction testers, the fuse will typically be 10A. The Electricity at Work Regulations require those in control of all or part of an electrical system to ensure it is safe to gss38 and maintained in a safe condition.

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