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The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

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The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 List of acts
 Selected UK Acts and Regulations
    Wills and probate
Crown Copyright Acknowledged

1989 No. 635


The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
Made  7th April 1989 
Laid before Parliament  25th April 1989 
Coming into force  1st April 1990 



1.  Citation and commencement.

2.  Interpretation.

3.  Persons on whom duties are imposed by these Regulations.


4.  Systems, work activities and protective equipment.

5.  Strength and capability of electrical equipment.

6.  Adverse or hazardous environments.

7.  Insulation, protection and placing of conductors.

8.  Earthing or other suitable precautions.

9.  Integrity of referenced conductors.

10.  Connections.

11.  Means for protecting from excess of current.

12.  Means for cutting off the supply and for isolation.

13.  Precautions for work on equipment made dead.

14.  Work on or near live conductors.

15.  Working space, access and lighting.

16.  Persons to be competent to prevent danger and injury.

Regulations Applying to Mines Only

17.  Provisions applying to mines only.

18.  Introduction of electrical equipment.

19.  Restriction of equipment in certain zones below ground.

20.  Cutting off electricity or making safe where firedamp is found either below ground or at the surface.

21.  Approval of certain equipment for use in safety-lamp mines.

22.  Means of cutting off electricity to circuits below ground.

23.  Oil-filled equipment.

24.  Records and information.

25.  Electric shock notices.

26.  Introduction of battery-powered locomotives and vehicles into safety-lamp mines.

27.  Storage, charging and transfer of electrical storage batteries.

28.  Disapplication of section 157 of the Mines and Quarries Act 1954.

Miscellaneous and General

29.  Defence.

30.  Exemption certificates.

31.  Extension outside Great Britain.

32.  Disapplication of duties.

33.  Revocations and modifications. 

Schedule 1.  Provisions applying to mines only and having effect in particular in relation to the use below ground in coal mines of film lighting circuits. 

Schedule 2.  Revocations and modifications. 

Explanatory Note


The Secretary of State, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by sections 15(1), (2), (3)(a) and (b), (4)(a), (5)(b), (6)(b), (8) and (9) and 82(3)(a) of, and paragraphs 1(1)(a) and (c), (2) and (3), 6(2), 9, 11, 12, 14, 15(1), 16 and 21(b) of Schedule 3 to, the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974[1] ("the 1974 Act"), and of all other powers enabling him in that behalf and for the purpose of giving effect without modifications to proposals submitted to him by the Health and Safety Commission under section 11(2)(d) of the 1974 Act, after the carrying out by the said Commission of consultations in accordance with section 50(3) of that Act, hereby makes the following Regulations:


Citation and commencement

1.    These Regulations may be cited as the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and shall come into force on 1st April 1990.


2.—(1)  In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires-

"approved" means approved in writing for the time being by the Health and Safety Executive for the purposes of these Regulations or conforming with a specification approved in writing by the Health and Safety Executive for the purposes of these Regulations;

"circuit conductor" means any conductor in a system which is intended to carry electric current in normal conditions, or to be energised in normal conditions, and includes a combined neutral and earth conductor, but does not include a conductor provided solely to perform a protective function by connection to earth or other reference point;

"conductor" means a conductor of electrical energy;

"danger" means risk of injury;

"electrical equipment" includes anything used, intended to be used or installed for use, to generate, provide, transmit, transform, rectify, convert, conduct, distribute, control, store, measure or use electrical energy;

"firedamp" means any flammable gas or any flammable mixture of gases occurring naturally in a mine;

"injury" means death or personal injury from electric shock, electric burn, electrical explosion or arcing, or from fire or explosion initiated by electrical energy, where any such death or injury is associated with the generation, provision, transmission, transformation, rectification, conversion, conduction, distribution, control, storage, measurement or use of electrical energy;

"safety-lamp mine" means-

(a) any coal mine; or

(b) any other mine in which-

(i) there has occurred below ground an ignition of firedamp; or

(ii) more than 0.25% by volume of firedamp is found on any occasion at any place below ground in the mine;

"system" means an electrical system in which all the electrical equipment is, or may be, electrically connected to a common source of electrical energy, and includes such source and such equipment.

    (2)  Unless the context otherwise requires, any reference in these Regulations to-

(a) a numbered regulation or Schedule is a reference to the regulation or Schedule in these Regulations so numbered;

(b) a numbered paragraph is a reference to the paragraph so numbered in the regulation or Schedule in which the reference appears.

Persons on whom duties are imposed by these Regulations

3.—(1)  Except where otherwise expressly provided in these Regulations, it shall be the duty of every-

(a) employer and self-employed person to comply with the provisions of these Regulations in so far as they relate to matters which are within his control; and

(b) manager of a mine or quarry (within in either case the meaning of section 180 of the Mines and Quarries Act 1954[2]) to ensure that all requirements or prohibitions imposed by or under these Regulations are complied with in so far as they relate to the mine or quarry or part of a quarry of which he is the manager and to matters which are within his control.

    (2)  It shall be the duty of every employee while at work-

 (a) to co-operate with his employer so far as is necessary to enable any duty placed on that employer by the provisions of these Regulations to be complied with; and

 (b) to comply with the provisions of these Regulations in so far as they relate to matters which are within his control.

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