2021 has seen the continuation of challenging times, but the Electrical Safety Roundtable (ESR) has not let that stop its progress. Our significant accomplishments this year demonstrate participant commitment and dedication to improving electrical safety standards and encouraging technical excellence.
Our first Virtual Conference, Shining a Spotlight on Initiatives Impacting Electrical Safety in Homes and Workplaces, took place in May 2021 and was a huge success. Speakers included Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, and Lorna Stimpson, Chief Executive Officer of LABC, among others with the event attracting nearly 200 guests. Many people from the industry, including local governments, electrical contracting companies, manufacturers, and government officials, attended the event, which was kindly sponsored by NAPIT and Megger.
Clive Betts, Chair of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, commenting on the conference said: “I was very pleased to be invited to speak at the Electrical Safety Roundtable’s first Virtual Conference and welcomed the opportunity to share highlights from the Housing, Communities and Local Government’s pre-legislative scrutiny of the Draft Building Safety Bill. I look forward to continuing to engage with the work of the Roundtable in the future and value the positive impact on enhancing electrical safety which has been made since its inception in 2012.”
Chris Bielby MBE, our wonderful chair of the ESR in the Home Group for the past ten years, stepped down in 2021. With his wealth of industry knowledge and experience, as well as a career dedicated to improving safety, the Roundtable thrived under his leadership. Commenting on his time as Chair, Chris Bielby said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Chair of the Electrical Safety Roundtable. It has been a pleasure to work with such a variety of knowledgeable and passionate industry stakeholders. I wish the ESR continued success in the future and will follow its progress with interest.”
Chris Pack, a previous participant of the Electrical Safety Roundtable while working for BEAMA, stepped up as the Home Group’s new chair in November and chaired his first meeting in December. Commenting on his new role, Chris Pack said: “I was delighted to become Chair of the Electrical Safety Roundtable in the Home group. Although I have only been Chair for a few months, I am looking forward to 2022 and am committed to helping the ESR in their mission to improve Electrical Safety.”
In October, our Social Housing Sub-group chaired by Martin Simmonds published a new guidance document, How to Manage Electrical Systems in Higher-Risk Buildings (HRB). Created to assist those responsible for managing electrical risks within HRBs, its launch event was attended by 90 people from more than 50 different organisations.
The guidance was commended by Dame Judith Hackitt, Government-appointed Independent Advisor on Building Safety, who said: “I am very pleased to see this guidance on managing electrical systems in higher-risk buildings published. It shines a spotlight on the importance of electrical safety in higher-risk buildings and the complexity of effective management. I encourage all those involved in the management of buildings to use this guidance.”
Commenting on the last year, Martin Simmonds said: “It has been an honour to chair the Electrical Safety Roundtable Social Housing Sub-Group this year. The publication of the How to Manage Electrical Systems in Higher-risk Buildings Guidance document was extremely well received by the wider industry and I’d like to note my thanks to the participants of the group for their efforts and commitment. I look forward to continuing to represent the Social Housing sub-group at stakeholder meetings and l am excited to see what we can achieve in 2022.”
Additionally, during 2021, the ESR’s Workplace group continued to meet virtually to discuss how to increase awareness around the many regulations and guidance documents that govern how to manage and monitor electrical safety in the workplace. The Group has been developing a series of technical information leaflets to provide an overview of often complex regulations and Government legislation such as the Electricity at Work Regulations.
Remarking on the past year, Paul Meenan, Chair of the Workplace Group, said: “I have been overwhelmed by the commitment of the members of the group and grateful for their engagement, innovative solutions and incredible technical expertise. I am looking forward to 2022, which will see the creation of our ambassador endorsement and the publication of more technical leaflets to help raise awareness and standards across the industry.”
Looking ahead, this year the Electrical Safety Roundtable’s work will continue to focus on improving electrical safety and standards within the industry. Building on the success of the two virtual events in 2021, we look forward to delivering another engaging event in 2022 to further enhance electrical safety.
For more information about the Electrical Safety Roundtable, please visit: www.electricalsafetyroundtable.co.uk