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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For existing leads and equipment predating these standards, or manufactured to a different standard, GS38 states they must be maintained to prevent danger and hwe comply with the guidance probes and clips in paragraph 9 download the full guidance note below.

Updates regarding the causes of accidents This section has been expanded on to include additional issues that have been raised since the previous publication: An important point raised in the causes of accidents is the use of multimeters.

There are particular requirements for the use of non-contact devices in coalmines. You can visit our cookie g3s8 page for more information.

These regular references to CAT safety ratings in the fourth edition of GS38 highlight the importance of ensuring that you have the right equipment and test leads for the job. While it has fundamentally remained the same as the previous version, there are some key additions that could affect the way you test, or the equipment you are using.

Electrical test equipment for use on low voltage electrical systems

For loop impedance, RCD or multifunction testers, the fuse will typically be 10A. A brief guide Electricity at work: This website uses non-intrusive cookies to improve your user experience.

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.

Specific requirements for test leads In line with changes made to the standards that cover the manufacture of ggs38 leads, there are some specific requirements that leads should comply with added in the fourth edition: Precautions before testing This section hde been expanded upon to recognise additional test processes covered by the hze note. Firstly the Guidance Note has been amended to reflect relevant changes to the standard for two pole voltage gs3, BS EN Wherever possible, all work on electrical systems should be carried out with the system dead.


A bse added paragraph touches on the importance or carrying out risk assessments, putting into place relevant safety measures and the use of appropriate PPE.

See also Electrical safety at work Safe maintenance Risk management The health and safety toolbox – how to control risks at work. Other changes include the use of proving units, non-contact voltage detectors and installation category ratings. Related products Electrical safety and you: HSE aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health.

However, if those leads are not rated to the same category as your installation, you could be putting yourself at risk. Clarification of the different installation categories BS EN CAT ratings is included in the guidance note ga38 a reference and a visual guide is available to download at the end of this article. The Regulations permit few circumstances where it is acceptable for live working activities to be carried out on electrical equipment or systems, this includes electrical testing and fault finding.

HSE GS38 Fourth Edition – What you need to know to stay compliant

The guidance has not fundamentally changed from the previous version. A footnote has been added to clarify that live working is defined as any testing or fault ts38 on live systems. 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 approach would derate the measuring equipment to the lower rating. This document provides advice and guidance on how to achieve this.


If you are unsure as to what test leads you need to use, speak to our technical team on Setting the hsw to the wrong voltage range will lead to a false reading, but having it set to measure current or resistance can result in excessive current being drawn through the test probes, leads and multimeter.

There are several points highlighted here that should be considered closely when it comes to test equipment selection. This has a new paragraph added regarding the use of non-contact detectors, or volt sticks: GS38 Fourth edition Ys38 a free copy. If your leads break during testing it can be easy to swap them for another set from a multimeter or clamp meter.

The fourth edition vs38 GS38 makes two important points regarding the purchase of new equipment and the use of older equipment. 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 The Electricity at Work Regulations require those in control of all or part of an electrical system to ensure it is safe to use and maintained in a safe condition.


Trusted by Professionals Search: Risky business Vehicle safety on farms Kidsafe: This is an important safety issue as using equipment that is not correctly rated for the installation category can and has resulted in serious injury and death.

Safe working practices Memorandum of guidance on the Electricity at Work Regulation. A – switch to normal size A – switch to large size A – switch to larger size.

When it comes to proving dead this has always been advised against by Electrical Safety First previously the Electrical Safety Council. 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.

HSE GS38 compliant tip caps

A final change regarding test leads relates to the use of fused leads. This should be done preferably on a voltage proving unit some devices have built-in proving units or otherwise on a known live source of similar voltage to the circuit under test providing precautions are taken to prevent danger arising.

This standard, which came into full effect in Mayis the standard that all new two pole voltage indicators should comply with. Electrical test equipment for use on low voltage electrical systems Date of publication: 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 g3s8, provided you have taken into consideration the installation category.

If you find hs have leads or test equipment that no longer meet these requirements, or have been damaged, it would be advisable to replace them to ensure your ongoing safety. We look at the key changes in the fourth edition, the full version of which can be downloaded at the end of this article. This section has some in-depth points regarding correct equipment selection.

Health and Safety Executive. Two key points have been added to the examples of common problems to look for: Provided your existing equipment or leads meet either of the above there should be no need to replace anything until vs38 need it. This has changed in the hsd edition, emphasising the importance nse using test leads and test equipment that is suitable for the category of the installation.