Following the launch of its new range of insulated Stubby Screwdrivers, C.K tools explains why this represents a small but clever step forward in health & safety.
Correct health and safety procedures, alongside the right tools, make for best practice and these responsibilities fall with all those working on-site. There are many problems facing workplace safety in the electrical industry, and it’s time to take measures towards a solution.
Electricians make up a significant segment of the construction industry, accounting for 6% of the UK’s entire workforce1. The specialist skill-set of electricians, coupled with necessary out-of-hours availability, makes it no surprise that many professionals are choosing self-employment.
With such a large number of electricians operating as a singular workforce, the responsibility of safety standards falls to the individual on-site, and maintaining these standards at a high level is critical. An injury at work has a financial impact on a tradesman at the very least, but the potential of fatal consequences is genuine.
Creating the safest environment
Every professional electrician knows that safety is the number one priority when undertaking a task, but with every precaution taken, even the most experienced electrician isn’t immune to danger.
Most electrical injuries happen in the workplace, and recent figures show that 28 fatalities occurred in just one year from low voltage electricity supplies2. The majority of electrical injuries happen when equipment is assumed to be dead but is in fact live, or when a worker is undertaking sub-standard safety procedures.Sometimes unsafe measures are taken unknowingly, with safety equipment or inadequate tools failing the user, resulting in a near miss or injury.
While accidents do happen, most can be avoided. Every piece of equipment must be scrutinised in the selection process, with safety the primary focus. The tools available to electricians are a huge part of ensuring on-site safety and having the correct tools to hand for every job is vital.
Making safe choices
While the old adage claims, “a good workman never blames his tools”, this is not the case when it comes to the electrical profession. An electrician entrusts their tools with their life on a daily basis, as often it’s the only thing that stands between them and dangerous currents.
A voltage as low as 50V can block electrical signals between the brain and muscles, which can lead to an irregular pattern in the heartbeat; preventing a person from breathing and causing muscle spasms.
For many years tools have been branded ‘insulated’, meaning often that the tools are coated with a material that is not a conductor of electricity. Current EU regulations (IEC 60900) only require insulated tools to offer protection up to 50V. But when we consider that a standard plug socket carries 230V, some insulated tools may not be up to the job.
In comparison, Verband Der Elektrotechnik (VDE) certification protects the user up to 10,000V, and only by choosing a tool marked VDE are electricians safe in the knowledge that each tool has been individually tested to 10,000V – a sizeable voltage in comparison to the mere 50V that can cause substantial injuries.
VDE tested tools are designed specifically to reduce the user’s risk of injury and lessen the risk of damage to electrical circuitry, a consideration that could save an electrician’s life.
Creating a solution
After undertaking research with professional electricians, C.K tools identified that most carry a non-insulated stubby screwdriver. Despite understanding the importance of using insulated tools, electricians often encounter situations where their usual VDE screwdriver won’t fit.
The new C.K Stubby VDE Slim Screwdrivers are designed to fill this problematic void; featuring a shorter length, they’re ideal for use in confined spaces, and full VDE approval provides the assurance that each is individually tested to 10,000V for safe working up to 1,000V.
Premium quality, chrome vanadium steel blades provide exceptional strength and durability, while the slim shaft allows access to recessed screws and fixings. Furthermore, anti-roll flats prevent the screwdriver from rolling off sloping surfaces.
Manufactured in Germany, the C.K Stubby VDE Slim Screwdrivers are available in four key tip types: the essential PZ2, Slotted sizes 4.0mm and 5.5mm and Modulo (+/-) 2, with tip type markings for easy identification.
Working in partnership with end users ensures that C.K tools can deliver solutions that are best suited to the actual work undertaken by professional tradesmen. While a screwdriver may not be the answer to every issue when it comes to health and safety in the workplace, the innovation of revamping a classic tool is a significant step in the right direction.
1www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source= web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjUvP6auOf TAhWmDcAKHTATCYwQFggxMAI&url=http%3A%2F%2 Fresearchbriefings.files.parliament.uk%2Fdocuments% 2FSN01432%2FSN01432.pdf&usg=AFQjCNGQWs0vgq VhpWyEYFj5XQ7iFIAq8g