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To RCD or not to RCD that is the question

There has been a lot of discussion recently regarding the necessity or otherwise of providing RCD protection at desk level. In the past, this has been a somewhat grey area, but the BS7671:2008+A3:2015 IET Wiring Regs (17th Edition) have, since late 2015 made this absolutely clear.

Burland’s product ranges are designed to be compliant on all new installations

Previously RCD Protection was required for socket outlets not exceeding 20A that are used by “ordinary persons”. That, one assumes is you and me! Exceptions were permitted for outlets for use “under the supervision of skilled or instructed persons” or a specifically labelled socket outlet provided for connection to a particular item of equipment”. So, for example a socket that was specifically for use with say a vending machine or photocopier.

The revised regulations require RCD protection for socket outlets not exceeding 20A or mobile equipment not exceeding 32A. The only exceptions allowed now are if the installation is NOT in a dwelling and a documented risk assessment has been carried out determining that RCD protection is not necessary, or, for specifically labelled and dedicated outlets as before.

The risk assessment must not be taken lightly. In the past, this exception was extensively abused. For example, RCD protection was eliminated in school installations because the children were supervised by a teacher. That sort of risk assessment will no longer wash.

The electrical installation designer and or employer must be prepared to justify their decision to omit the provision of RCD protection. The employer will be required to attach the risk assessment to the Electrical Installation Certificate which he or she is required to provide by law as part of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.

So, although this all seems quite turgid, employers and design engineers are taking serious liability risks by not complying with the need to provide RCD protection. It is a rather high risk strategy to avoid doing what is required then just praying no one suffers from electric shock!

Burland has the appropriate products which can be installed alongside existing installations to bring them up to date and of its product ranges are designed to be compliant on all new installations.

If you would like to discuss your circumstances and how best to make your installation compliant with minimal disruption and minimal cost, contact Richard Vass, 01473 858 214