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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Two key points have been added to the examples of common problems to look for: The guidance has not fundamentally changed from the previous version. Provided your existing equipment or leads meet either of the above there should be no need to fs38 anything until they need it. You can visit our cookie privacy page for more information. Clarification of the different installation categories BS Hs 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.
Precautions before testing This section has been expanded upon to recognise additional test processes covered by the guidance note.
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An important point raised in the causes of accidents is the use of multimeters. 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.
This hae edition includes current test equipment and references and links to further guidance have been updated. However, if those leads are not rated to the same category as your installation, you could be putting yourself at risk. The document provides advice and guidance on how to work safely and ensure the right equipment is used and maintained properly.
See also Electrical safety at work Safe maintenance Risk management The health and safety toolbox – how to control risks at work.
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.
Examination of equipment The changes here are mainly with the wording, however this section does highlight the need to maintain regular checks of test equipment and that these should be carried out by a competent person. 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.
This approach would derate the measuring equipment to the lower rating.
Hse guidance note gs38:
Firstly the Guidance Note has been amended to reflect relevant changes to the standard for two pole voltage indicators, BS EN If your leads break during testing it can be easy to swap them for another set from a multimeter or clamp meter. Is this page useful?
This section has some in-depth points regarding correct equipment selection. This document provides advice and guidance on how to achieve this. A footnote ys38 been added to clarify that live working is defined as any testing or fault finding on live systems.
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A brief guide Electricity at work: GS38 Fourth edition Download a free copy. If you are unsure as to what test leads you need to use, speak to our technical team on There are particular requirements for the use of non-contact devices in coalmines. 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 Whenever there are changes made to legislation and best practice, questions are often raised regarding existing equipment and whether it can still be used.
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. 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.
For multimeters, fused leads should have a high-breaking capacity fuse hbc or hrc with a current rating that usually should not exceed mA.
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This standard, which came into full effect in Mayis the standard that all new two pole voltage indicators should comply with. When it comes to proving dead this has always been advised against by Electrical Safety First previously the Electrical Sg38 Council.
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.