Electrical Contracting News (ECN) May 2017 - Page 32

FEATURE BS76671 COMPLIANCE CLEAR AND COMPLIANT Ioana Nitu, product manager at Brother UK, gives her top labelling tips to ensure compliance with BS7671. C orrect labelling can help avoid accidental breaches of policies and regulations as well as serious safety issues, so it’s important to get it right. Not only will clear labels help make things simpler and safer for customers and fellow contractors, it could also impact your reputation in the long run – so, it’s not something to be overlooked. Make sure you take the size of your label into account as even the slightest variation could affect whether or not it is compliant with regulations. Tip 1: Long lasting labels Our research found that almost half of electricians still use handwritten labels to label their equipment and installations, despite BS7671 regulations stating that they should be made from ‘durable material…likely to remain easily legible throughout the life of the installation’. Handwritten labels are susceptible to temperature changes and extreme weather conditions which can seriously impact legibility and adhesion over time. Make sure you invest in a sturdy label printer that produces hardwearing labels suitable for both interior and exterior projects – you want them to be able to withstand all types of environments. Did you know? • Ninety per cent of electricians have witnessed bad labelling at work (NICEIC Tech Talks, 2016). • Almost half of electricians and contractors label their work using handwritten labels. 32 | May 2017 Tip 2: A compliant size Tip 3: The right symbols It may seem a small consideration, but make sure you take the size of your label into account as even the slightest variation could affect whether or not it is compliant with regulations. Warning notice, periodic inspection and testing labels all have to be a particular size to meet current regulations so swat up on the latest size requirements and make sure a matter of millimeters doesn’t impact your compliance. Using the correct symbols is essential to ensuring you remain compliant, and as the complexity of modern installations increases, so has the number of symbols, signs and notices required. A good quality label printer will equip you with a number of ready to use, built-in templates making the task simpler and easier. Have a read over Chapter 13 of the BS7671 regulations – it’s a great starting point as it clearly maps out the