Transportable structures and vehicles, electrical safety verification

The verification of electrical safety for electrical warrants of fitness with transportable structures and vehicles has, in certain circumstances, been prone to misinterpretation.

The Electricity Act 1992(external link) and the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010(external link) define installations, connectable (re-locatable) installations, and appliances. Each has particular characteristics and is expected to comply with the relevant rules for safety verification.

However, there are some circumstances that make it possible to consider the completed construction as an installation, a connectable (re-locatable) installation, or an appliance. In these cases you have the option to choose to comply with whichever compliance method you consider appropriate. You are not committing an offence if you use the more applicable option.

When verifying the electrical safety of the transportable structures for their ongoing use, it is necessary to bear in mind that the regulations deem certain situations to be safe or unsafe, and there is middle ground between the two.

This means that provided the methodology adopted does not result in an unsafe situation and you are actually working in a performance based environment, so there may be other solutions which are entirely tolerable and allow for a choice of the rule to follow, as long as it does not become unsafe.

Note that where a connection is made by plug and socket in an outdoor situation, the use of RCD protection is critical. However, in some cases, there is no specific restriction on the type of plug and socket that can be used.

In outdoor situations ingress protection (IP rating) of the electrical equipment must also be taken into consideration.