Here at Access Training, we constantly stress the importance of safe electrical practice in the workplace, but this unfortunate incident really brings it home!

On the 12th of April 2017, two demolition workers were tasked with removing electrical distribution equipment from a switchgear room at the Molecular Products site in Essex. The principal contractor had told the men that the electrical equipment they were dealing with had been fully isolated.

Foolishly, one man attempted to 'reassure his colleague' that the electricals had in fact been isolated by throwing a metal crowbar at the 400v ac equipment.

Unfortunately, when the crowbar came into contact with the live electricals it created a flashover (explosion) at temperatures of several thousand degrees which led immediately to quite a devastating fire. The man who through the crowbar, Mr Banks, suffered serious burns and was taken into hospital.

HSE investigated this incident and found that the task had not been properly planned at that suitable control measures hadn't been put in place. The principal contractor had failed to follow the procedures stating that all electrical equipment should be treated as live until properly checked and confirmed to be isolated. 

The Consequences:

  • Mr Banks sustained horrific burns & injuries
  • Russel Haigh and Stuart Haigh pled guilty to breaching Regulation 3 of the Electricity at Work Regulations  Act 1989 and we both fined £80,000
  • AJ Wadhams & Co Ltd pled guilty to breaching section of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 197 and was fined £80,000

HSE inspector Adam Hills said:

“This incident has had a significant impact on Mr Banks life and the injuries could so very easily have been fatal. Had the companies followed the control measures outlined in their respective risk assessments, then this incident would not have occurred. Never assume that an electrical supply is disconnected. Always check with the distribution network operator or a qualified electrician to obtain written proof of isolation before commencing work.”

Read more about this incident here >

 Electrical Training

If there's one thing to take away from this, it's that working with electricals can be incredibly dangerous (and costly) if something goes wrong. That's why we can't stress enough how important it is that you receive the proper electrical training before carrying out this kind of work!

Here at Access Training Academies, we offer electrical training for students of all ages and abilities. If you're interested in pursuing a career in electrical work, come and learn the necessary skills and practices at one of our training centres. 

View Our Electrical Courses >

If you have any questions about our electrical courses, or to arrange a visit to one of our test centres, please don't hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 0800 345 7492 or email us at info@accesstraininguk.co.uk.

Make your home more energy efficient
 
Making all aspects of your life more sustainable is very popular at the moment. Saying no to plastic carrier bags and buying a bamboo toothbrush are all popular options, but have you considered how you can make your home more energy efficient? We have lots of expertise in the gas, plumbing and electrical industries, so we thought we would put together some tips to help you make your home a greener place! 
 

Put Central Heating on a Timer

A simple yet effective tip that you don’t need plumbing or gas engineering training for, is to simply set a property’s heating using a timing mechanism.
Whether you set it to come on an hour in the morning and an hour in the night at a residential property, or between 9 am and 5 pm for a commercial one like an office, this will ensure the heating is only on when it needs to be on.
This is an easy way to ensure energy is not wasted when a property is empty, which will not only help the planet but save the bill payer some pennies too. 
 

Fit Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Energy-efficient light bulbs come in two types: Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). According to the Energy Saving Trust, replacing a regular light bulb with a CFL will save around £5 a year or up to £70 over the lifetime of the bulb. LEDs usually come in spotlights and therefore traditional fittings may need changing to use these. This can be both cost and energy efficient in the long run though as switching from halogen lights to LED could save around £35 a year. 
 
Energy Efficient Light Bulb

Update the Boiler

On average, heating accounts for 60% of annual energy bills, so becoming more efficient could save a homeowner hundreds of pounds a quarter. 
Most modern boilers are condensing, meaning it has a larger heat exchanger and recovers more heat. Gas boilers are most likely to be affordable if the property has mains gas and a combi boiler will be more compact, meaning it will take up less space in the property. 
 
If the cash funds for a new boiler aren’t available, it may be worth insulating the boiler as a temporary fix. You can read more about this in our blog post: Should You Wrap Up Your Water Heater This Winter?
 

Make Sure the Property is Insulated

Talking of insulation, how well insulated in the property? There’s no point in fitting an energy-efficient heating system if there is considerable heat loss, and this could be highly likely if you have an older property. 
Around 25% of heat loss is through the roof, 35% through walls and 10% through windows, so having a property properly insulated could cut this drastically. This may also alter a property’s EPC rating which can increase the value of the property. 
 

Learn More With Our Training Courses 

Want to be able to offer some of the above services, but not qualified to do so? Then why not sign up to conduct further training? Browse our different courses by clicking the button below, or give us a call on 0800 345 7492 to enquire today!
 

Is being an electrician hard on your body?

It’s normal to want to know everything about a career you're interested in - all the pros and all the cons - so that you can make an informed decision on what it is you want to do. One thing to consider before you take up a new trade (electrical work, for instance) is the physical effect that your new job might have on your body.

The good news is that being an electrician isn't too hard on your body - there are numerous jobs, including some trade jobs, that take a far harsher physical toll on those who do them.

View our electrician courses >

However, this doesn’t mean that being an electrician is always easy going. If you ask electricians who have been in the business a long time, they will probably tell you they have experienced some discomfort in their knees and back.

This isn’t too surprising, as being an electrician often means crouching, kneeling and bending to reach the electrical installations you're supposed to be working on. With that in mind, it is advised that you take the proper precautions to ensure that your body remains healthy: electricians should stretch often and consider investing in knee pads to wear while working. It's also good practice, as in any line of work, to take breaks and refrain from putting too much stress on your body outside of working hours.

Generally speaking, though, being an electrician doesn't come with any major risks to your long-term physical health (excluding the potential for electrical shocks, which you can read about here). In many ways, a relatively active job like electrical work is preferable to a job that has you parked in front of a computer all day - the dangers of sitting down for long periods of time are well-documented, and this isn't something you'll have to worry about too often when you're working as an electrician, zipping from one job to the next all day long.

You can train to become a professional electrician by completing one of our electrical courses. For more advice on which course best suits you, feel free to get in touch with the Access Training team.

How long does it take to become a qualified electrician?

Stuck in a job you don’t love? Or perhaps you’re considering your options after leaving school? Well, if you’re thinking about learning a trade, you may be wondering how to become an electrician. Get all of the information that you need right here!

 

How to Become a Fully-Qualified Electrician

In order to become a licensed and qualified electrician, you will have to complete a level 3 electrical or electro-technical qualification or equivalent. This is traditionally done through an apprenticeship, as Level 3 will be awarded on completion. However, completing Level 1 and 2 qualifications may help you find a trainee position.

Becoming an Electrician Without an Apprenticeship: Here at Access Training, we offer intensive short-course training packages that will help you to get equally qualified (if not more) without needing to partake in an apprenticeship scheme.

View Level 3 Electrician Courses >

Whatever route you choose, the typical electrician will have the following:

  • Practical skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Organisation skills
  • Social skills
  • Basic maths skills

 

How Long Does It Take to Get Qualified?

The time it takes to become a qualified electrician will depend on the study route you choose to take.

Generally, apprenticeships take three years to complete and will involve one day a week at college and four days within a related job position. However, many colleges offer two-year fast-track options for advanced students, as well as part-time study which could take much longer.

After completion, it is then up to the student whether they continue on to higher education courses or partake in job-related training (e.g. a PAT testing certification). 

Students at Access Training can achieve the very highest level in the electrical trade and a number of industry-recognised electrical qualifications (including PAT Testing and 18th Edition) in a matter of weeks.

Open to candidates of all experience levels, our tutors will guide you through the certifications you'll need to become an accomplished electrician, with study and examination for each qualification taking just a few contact days to finish.

So the question is this: do you go down the traditional apprenticeship route, or try something a little different? If the traditional route is not the choice for you due to the time it takes to complete and you'd prefer to quickly earn the experience and skills needed to become a qualified electrician, then browse our range of electrician courses and enrol today! 

 

If you have any questions regarding our range of electrical training courses, please do not hesitate to contact us today!

 

Read more: 

Last month the DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) announced amendments to the current Building Regulations, introducing a previously proposed third party inspection scheme to allow DIY enthusiasts/those not registered with a Competent Persons Scheme to have their work checked and certified. However NICEIC and ELECSA have announced that they will be opting out of these changes, arguing that the changes could "undermine registered electricians" and cause more harm than good.

In a statement from Emma Clancy, CEO of Cetsure (which operates the two brands), it was said they "do not wish to see DIY'ers carry out potentially dangerous electrical work" and believe it needs to be left to competent electricians who will able to comply with the wiring regulations. She went on to point out that the third party inspector scheme is not UKAS accredited, meaning that there is to be no external verification ensuring that the scheme operators are doing their job to the correct standard.

"It makes a mockery of competent persons’ schemes and the tens of thousands of registered electricians already in the marketplace. There are glaring holes in the scheme, such as the amount of time an installation can be live before it is checked, potentially endangering the householder," she continued.

Other electrical contractors have also expressed concerns over the scheme, especially toward a lack of clarity as to where the responsibility lies. Is it with the inspectors even though they didn't install it? The question has also been raised as to why DIY installers do the work themselves (and get it checked) in the first place, when as it stands they'd actually be saving money by hiring a competent electrician to do the work.

Finally, Certsure have released a video where NICEIC/ELECSA representatives Tony Cable and Darren Stanniforth discuss the brands' position on third party certification. You can view it here at this link.

Here at Access Training, we fully agree that DIYers shouldn't be attempting any form of electrical installation without the proper knowledge, training and qualifications to ensure that their work isn't a hazard to themselves or anybody else. However we also understand some of you will want to have a go at it yoursepves, which is why our range of electrical training courses is suitable for trainee electricans and DIY enthusiasts alike! At our Cardiff training centre, you'll be able to earn your 17th Edition Wiring and Part P qualifications, proving you skilled enough to join a Competent Person Scheme and tackle all sorts of domestic electrical work yourself.

To find out more, just give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

On Friday the 28th March the Electrical Safety Council was no more, relaunching with a new web site as Electrical Safety First. The rebranding is part of a new, ongoing campaign to raise public awareness of the dangers of electricity, after Government survey suggested awareness was at an all-time low. According to their data, only 14% of the general public were even aware of Part P!

The new name has come after 18 months of extensive research into what was already known about electrical safety. This didn't just extend to the general public - the Government, key stakeholders and even the industry itself were also scrutinised over what they knew about the dangers and what they knew about the Electrical Safety Council itself. It seems few knew that the Council was in fact a consumer charity, with many thinking it was either a trade association or part of the Government. So as a result of this, a name change was decided to reflect its nature as a charity.

However not everyone is pleased with the change, as some electricians have criticised dropping the more authoritative 'council' in favour of the more "more meaningless" 'first'. They believe that the name now lacks the respect it previously had and would have been far more suited to a campaign change rather than a charity. However Electrical Safety First defended the change, claiming that their research pointed to them needing a simpler name, along with easier to digest language to accompany it. 

Electrical Safety First say they've already secured significant media coverage to raise the profile of electrical safety, and this has started with the revival of famous 70s/80s public information animated series Charley Says. These films were the work of Richard Taylor Cartoons, and saw a little boy named Tony and his cat Charley learn valuable lessons on all manner of things. The new film is narrated/voiced by comedian David Walliams, who was excited to revive the series. "I loved Charley Says when growing up and I think it's great that Electrical Safety First is bringing the characters back to life and creating some new storylines," he said. "We've all had a go at mimicking Charley the cat's 'meow', so I just hope my version is up to scratch and will help people stay safe in the home."

You can view the new video here at the Electrical Safety First website.

Complicated electrical installations should always be left to the trained professionals, while if you would like to have a go at simpler tasks at home its vital that you AT LEAST have the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations and Part P qualifications. Whether you wish to gain electrician qualifications for professional or personal gain, we can help you achieve them with our intensive training courses here at Access Training. If you'd like to find out more about what our courses entail and book your place, give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

While an electrician who's undergone a proper electrical training course and earned their qualifications would never make these kind of mistakes, unfortunately the industry is rife with unqualified individuals looking to make an easy bit of cash without any regard for their customer's safety (or even life). These cowboy builders commonly do poor electrical installation jobs, resulting in customers having to call out proper professionals to fix things.

New research from Trade Skills 4 U has found the most common jobs electricians are called out to do after a cowboy builder or naive DIY enthusiast has done a poor job of it. Many of these shouldn't be taken lightly, as they can easily cause electric shocks that could result in death. Potentially fatal mistakes including drilling through wiring, repairing electrical appliances while they are still switched on and even cutting through power leads.

With the most common jobs involving either light fittings (41%) and lighting circuits (29%), its no surprise that many naively believe they have the skills to complete such tasks without having done an electrical course. In fact, one fifth of the people sampled said that they will confidently attempt to install new lighting in their homes without any electrical training. One tenth said they'd do the same installing new wiring.

These might be simple jobs for an electrician to carry out, but for someone without the proper training they can be very dangerous. At the very minimum anyone attempting these sort of jobs should have the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations and Part P qualifications, both of which we offer courses for here at Access Training Academies. Shoddy electrical work could cost someone their life and it might not be yours - it could be your friends' or family members'. Ask yourself, is it really worth it?

To find out more about the electrician courses we offer at Access Training, give our advice team a call on 0800 345 7492.

Via DIY Week

While most tradespeople are hardworking, honest people, there are always going to be some out there who try to spoil it for everyone else. These "cowboy builders" are the kind that don't complete a trades training course and try to get by on their own knowledge, not only breaking the law but also putting their customers in serious danger. Here's just one example of what happens to people who pretend to be a professional electrician without the relevant qualifications or electrical training course. This foolish contractor has been fined for fraudulently claiming to be registered with certification group NICEIC while at the same time carrying out dangerous electrical work.

David Taylor, trading under the name DT Property Maintenance and Electrical Contractors, was found guilty by Snaresbrook Crown Court of leaving electrical jobs unfinished - making homes unfit for human habitation. This included leaving dangerous electrical rewiring that needed to be put right as well as leaving leaking roof which needed replacing. All instances required other contractors to come in to fix the shoddy workmanship, costing residents in excess of £10,000 in addition to what they had previously paid Mr Taylor.

Action was taken by Hackney Council's Trading Standards, who worked closely with NICEIC to reveal that he was falsely using the NICEIC, Trustmark and Part P logos in his business. Mr Taylor pleaded guilty to 12 separate counts under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, landing him a sentence of eight months. In addition to this, in November 2013 he had also been found guilty at a trial in Isleworth Crown Court for committing fraud against an employer. This case was brought to court by the Metropolitan Police and resulted in an additional 12 month prison sentence.

NICEIC's CEO Emma Clancy said that the group take misuse of their logo "very seriously and welcome this latest prosecution". She went to on say how the NICEIC logo is associated with quality and it was their duty to protect the honest contractors associated with them. It also sends out the message that anyone found to be misusing the logo will be caught and dealt with appropriately.

After hearing Mr Taylor's story, does working as a cowboy builder and falsely using Competent Persons Scheme/qualification logos sound worth it to you? I thought not. The only way to become an electrician is to do it properly, and that's by completing an electrical training course and EARNING the qualifications properly. From here you will be able to properly join a Competent Persons Scheme and join the ranks of the honest electricians working hard across the country. Our electrician courses here at Access Training will get you well on the way to starting your new career, offering high quality teaching in an unbeatable time frame.

Just give Access Training Academies a call on 0800 345 7492 to find out more.

ELECSA and NICEIC operators NAPIT and Certsure have come together to create a single place consumers can go to find a fully qualifiied electrician. This easily identifiable mark will cover all full scope Part P registered electricians and is planned to roll out this year.

The two associations both created their own individual registers last year, but have since realised the advantages of creating a single one to avoid confusion. In addition to this, both feel that the attention given to the launches has proved a distracytion from key issues in the electrical industry - namely safety and quality. To overcome this, NAPIT and Certsure met back in November to discuss the way forward in terms of promoting competent, qualified electricians.

The proposal that has been put forward is anticipated to include all licensed Electrical Competent Person Scheme Operators in England and Wales who are approved by the DCLG to run an electricial certification scheme, who have been said to be "happy with the plans" in principle. The schemes will continue to operate individually in accordance with current Building Regulations, however they will now also promote the new quality mark as well as their own.

Emma Clancy, Chief Executive Officer of Certsure, said consumers will now benefit from a single point of reference, making it far easier for consumers to locate a registered electrician in their area. NAPIT Chief Executive Michael Andrews added that the new register will also "ensure that electrical installers continue to be able to take advantage of the choice and value for money that comes as part and parcel of healthy competition in the marketplace"

When becoming a fully qualified electrician, gaining your Part P qualification and joining a Competent Persons Scheme is an incredibly important step to take. It ensures consumers that you are fully qualified and able to perform electrical installations, setting you apart from the so-called "cowboy builders" that plague the industry. Not only that, but a Part P qualification allows electricians to self-certify their own work. This means you can sign off on any installations without having to inform your local building authority - saving you a considerable amount of money in inspection fees.

The Part P qualification, along with all electrical qualifications needed to become a full-time electrician, is available as an intensive course from Access Training Academies. If you would like the steps to become a fully-fledged electrician, take a look at the courses we have on offer and give us a call on 0800 345 7492 today.

Fire service data indicates that over 20% of domestic fires are caused by electrical faults, with this figure increasing during the festive season.

As the festive season fast approaches, some of you will be planning your part in the annual “Battle of the Illuminations” with your neighbours. This year you will want more lights, bigger, brighter, and more colourful for a more dynamic display that will make people stare in amazement.

All of your socket outlets will be put to use, many with multi-way extension leads attached. Will you be checking to see if your installation can safely cope with the extra load? No! Don’t be daft its Christmas, it will be ok!

Will you check the lights to make sure that they are safe to use?

  • Are they the correct type of lights for use outdoors?
  • Are the flex, plug and leads un-damaged?
  • Are the plugs fitted correctly and do they contain the right fuse (usually 3Amp)?
  • Are all the lamps the correct rating (voltage, wattage)?

Or shall we just trust to luck?

Then on one December evening your home becomes the focus of everyone in the neighbourhood. People from all over, standing wrapped in coats and scarves watching the awesome display that is before their eyes. A myriad of multicolour flashing lights illuminating jets and sprays of water as the local fire service battle to save your home!

One small spark is all it takes to start a devastating fire, do yourself (and your family) a favour this Christmas – check your lights (or get a qualified electrician to check then) before you put them up and use RCD’s to protect each ‘string’. A small price to pay to have a Merry Christmas with your family– in your own home!

Season’s Greetings,

- Mark Jenkins.

Mark Jenkins is the Electrical Course Development Manager here at Access Training. If you would like to take the steps to become a professional electrician, our electrical training courses are the fastest and most effective way to build up the skills you need and gain the necessary qualifications for a prosperous career in the industry. To find out more give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

When hiring an electrician to work in your home it's important to ensure that they've completed a suitable electrical training course and earned all of the necessary qualifications. But it seems not enough Brits are doing this, as new research from the Electrical Safety Council has found that on average a startling one in four people have hired an electrician without checking their credentials. 

The charity estimates that around 20,000 non-registered electricians are currently active in the UK, so having a casual attitude toward checking they have the right electrician qualifications is a huge risk to you and anyone else who lives in/enters your home. Electrical accidents are responsible for half of all house fires, with someone dying every week from one as well. Vigilance doesn't cost anything, but ignorance could cost you your life.

The ESC's survey also revealed that a third of people (based on a random sample of 2018 adults) have hired an electrician based on a recommendation without first checking creditials and - more more alarmingly - a quarter would KNOWINGLY use an unregistered tradesperson if they were in a hurry. The study also found that nearly 1.3 million people have paid a proper electrician to come and fix damage caused by an unregistered one.

This worrying figure shows no sign of decreasing either, as a third of registered electricians admitted to an increase of substandard or dangerous work carried out by rogue tradesmen in the last few years. They also warned of relying on other tradesmen to complete work that should be completed by someone who has completed an electrican training course, earned the right qualifications and become registered.

As part of their campaign to promote awareness towards checking an electrian's credentials, the ESC have taken on TV presenter and consumer champion Dominic Littlewood as ambassador. He warns: "Rogue traders come in many shapes and forms – from your mate down the pub, to the guy that helps your builder out with a few odds and ends. What can look legitimate, or sound convincing at first glance, may turn into a nightmare if the person doesn’t have the right qualifications."

If you're training to become an electrician, its your responsibility to your customers to ensure that you've received the right training and possess all of the relevant qualifications. By completing an Access Training electrician course, you'll gain both of these things as you learn from professional electricians with many years' experience in the industry. To find out more and book your place, give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

So you're reaching the end of your electrical training course and wondering what comes next. With qualifications in hand, its time to set up that electrician career you've been dreaming of. But which is the better route to go down - become a domestic electrician or become a commercial one?

The main questions you'll be asking youself are "What's the difference", "Which is better?" and "Which will give me better job satisfaction?". Here we'll try to explain some of the big differences between the two different electrician career choices and hopefully help point you in the right direction.

The easiest place to start with would be definitions. While a domestic installer deals with dwellings such as houses/flats/bungalows/etc, a commercial electrician's forte lies working in a wide variety of professional sectors - be it industrial, agricultural or more. Domestic installers work tends to mainly deal with single phase electrics, while a commerical electerican could find themselves installing a variety of cables including both single and three phase.

Aside from job description, one of the biggest differences between the two is the kind of lifestyle you'll be living. Most domestic installers tend to go the route of self-employment, setting up their own electrical businesses. The advantages to do this are:

  • Uncapped pay
  • You get to decide your own working hours
  • A good variety of domestic jobs
  • Face to face interaction with your customers

Meanwhile, a commercial electrician tends to be part of a larger company, which while doesn't quite have the freedom of self-employment has its own advantages - especially if you're someone who prefers the stability of a yearly salary and set work hours:

  • Jeb security
  • Length of jobs
  • Working as part of a team
  • Working in a wide variety of different sectors and locations
  • Promising career progression
  • Offers areas which you can then specialise in
If you're still not sure which is the right path for you, the good news is that all electrical training starts from the very beginning - so an Access Training course will give you the perfect basic training before you decide which route you'd like to go down. To find out more and speak to one of our course advisers, please give us a call on 0800 345 7492 today.