Influential electrical trade body SELECT has launched a major safe isolation awareness campaign to help keep electricians and apprentices free from harm at work in 2021.

Running under the banner ‘Work dead safely: Stay alive’, Scotland’s largest construction trade association has produced an engaging new animation, brochure and infographic to stress the importance of observing correct safe isolation procedures.

The influential trade body also graphically reinforces the dangers of not isolating safely, with tragic case studies of electricians who have been burned, scarred for life and even killed in preventable electrical incidents caused by a lack of safe isolation.

Dave Forrester, Head of Technical Services at SELECT, said: “This is an important initiative in which we must stress and stress again that we work in a complex and dangerous environment in which safety must come first regardless of the circumstances.

“Many of us in this sector know that not isolating safely can have horrific consequences, including electric shock and burns, some tragically fatal. Contact with an electrical current can lead to heart failure and burning of the skin and even internal organs.

“Working with the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB), we at SELECT will do everything in our power to hammer home the urgent necessity of following the guidance and carrying out the checks that employers put in place.”

Designed to be shared online, on-site and in offices and colleges, the messaging clearly explains the importance of ensuring that supply is cut off from all, or any discrete part of, an installation by separating it from every source of electrical supply.

The advice and guidance – which includes Ten Steps to Safe Isolation – is aimed at electricians who are recent entrants to the profession as well as apprentices in training, but the shrewd common sense of the messages is relevant to even the most experienced electrician.

Fiona Harper, The Secretary of the SJIB, said: “Safe isolation is a vital procedure to ensure that anyone working on or near live electrical systems isn’t exposed to danger or death. Having the procedures clearly documented will protect and benefit everyone in the sector.

“The information is designed not only to encourage greater safety – and awareness of safety – but also as a tool for apprentices and others to ensure that best practice is ingrained from the outset.”

The information campaign is the latest initiative from SELECT, which has a long track record of promoting the interests of the industry and safeguarding the welfare of the 15,000 people and 3,500 apprentices who work in it.

The Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT), which delivers training on behalf of the SJIB, teamed up with Electrical Safety First to give free lockout kits to Scotland’s trainee electricians last October.

Now in its 12th year, the partnership saw SECTT training officers visit colleges and training centres across the country to hand out more than 650 of the kits to 3rd Stage apprentices and adult trainees, observing physical distancing at all times.

SELECT has also been leading a long-running campaign with other leading industry bodies to make sure that those who work in the industry do so in a safe and competent manner. It currently is engaged with the Scottish Government over the potential regulation of the industry.

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