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UKCA Marking: Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations Guide

19th September 2023

For companies selling or supplying electrical equipment to the UK market, compliance with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations is necessary for UKCA marking.

UKCA came into effect on 31st December, 2020, and is the new mandatory mark for certain equipment, machinery and products sold in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). IES provides assessments, testing, advice and support to achieve UKCA marking compliance.

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations apply to electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits and associated health and safety measures.

As a manufacturer, what are your key responsibilities?

In this guide, we’ll explain what the regulations cover, who enforces them, the documentation required, and the penalties for non-compliance.

What are the Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations?

The Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations are a series of product safety requirements which apply to electrical equipment in the UK. They relate to equipment used within certain voltage limits and include health and safety measures.

In requiring that electrical equipment meets key safety objectives such as guarding against electric shock, mechanical risks and fire hazards, the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations ensure that all electrical equipment placed on the UK market is safe, and doesn’t pose a risk to users or their surroundings.

Who enforces the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations?

In the UK, the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations are enforced by two bodies.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) enforces the rules when relevant equipment is used in the workplace and other non-domestic premises.

When relevant equipment and products are used at home, the  National Trading Standards enforces the regulations.

What do the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations cover?

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations cover health and safety risks associated to electrical equipment input or output in these voltage ranges:

  • 50 - 1000 V for alternating current
  • 75 - 1500 V for direct current

The regulations apply to the majority of electrical equipment types within these voltage brackets, including:

  • adapters
  • audio and video equipment
  • cables
  • cable management systems
  • fuses
  • household appliances
  • laser equipment
  • lighting products
  • plugs and plug outlets (industrial use)
  • pole voltage detectors
  • power supply units
  • switches

The regulations don’t apply to the following types of electrical equipment:

  • electrical equipment used in an explosive atmosphere, radiology or for medical purposes
  • electrical equipment used on ships, aircraft or railways
  • electrical parts for lifts
  • electricity meters
  • plugs and plug outlets (domestic use)

Key responsibilities for manufacturers

It is the manufacturer – whether based in the UK or not – who is responsible for ensuring equipment complies with the Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations.

The manufacturer is obliged to ensure that electrical equipment is designed and manufactured in accordance with the safety objectives’ principal elements. This means ensuring that equipment:

  • Is safe, with the minimum risk of causing harm to any person, animal or property
  • Is constructed in accordance with good engineering safety practice
  • Is designed to protect against electric shock through protective earthing
  • Conforms with the principal elements of safety objectives in Schedule 1 of the regulations

It is also the manufacturer’s responsibility to draw up a Declaration of Conformity and affix the UKCA mark. 

Preparing your equipment for assessments and testing

A Compliance Testing provider such as IES can check that your equipment conforms with the UK Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations.

We ask customers to make the following preparations ahead of assessments and testing:

  • equipment should be set up for full operational mode.
  • high power, direct current or radio frequency power supplies in the equipment will need to be energised during testing.
  • for site work, complex equipment should already have been commissioned by vendor engineers and be ready for normal operation.
  • simple systems such as benchtop metrology tools should be installed in a position and have power.
  • any other required services connected to the tool should be ready for power up and operation of the tool.

Declaration and documentation required for compliance

Manufacturers supplying or selling electrical equipment on the UK market should be aware of the following documentation required for compliance with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations:

UKCA marking

A UKCA mark is a required form of compliance with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations. The UKCA mark should be affixed to the electrical equipment itself, packaging and guarantee certificates. The mark should be clear to ensure equipment is recognised as meeting the requirements of the regulations and entitled to be supplied and sold in the UK.

Technical documentation

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations require electrical equipment to be supplemented by technical documentation before being made available on the market. These documents include:

  1. a description of the equipment

  2. information on the equipment’s design, the way it is manufactured and its operation

  3. the details of assessments and testing for compliance with the regulations’ safety requirements

The Technical File outlined above may include descriptions, components, conceptual designs, standards applied, solutions implemented to meet safety requirements and test reports.

Declaration of Conformity (DoC)

The Declaration of Conformity (DoC) is a written declaration from the manufacturer or their appointed authorised representative that electrical equipment is compliant with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations.

Information in the DoC includes the identification of the manufacturer or authorised representative, a description of the equipment, the harmonised standards applied, and the year that the equipment was UKCA marked.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

Non-compliance with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations is an offence. Manufacturers and other responsible parties not complying with the requirements of the regulations risk a fine, imprisonment, or both.

The HSE may ask for electrical equipment to be withdrawn from the UK market immediately if it is found to be non-compliant with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations.

How can IES help to achieve compliance?

IES provides manufacturers with an efficient route to compliance with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations.

We recommend assessment and testing solutions, supplying test data which can be used by manufacturers to support a self declaration for electrical equipment. In many cases, this helps manufacturers to avoid appointing a UK Approved Body (a body approved to provide UKCA certification services), removing additional costs.

Achieve UKCA marking compliance with IES

Have complete confidence in your path to compliance with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations.

Appointing IES for Compliance Testing ensures:

  • Product safety testing by experienced engineers at your site or our testing facility
  • Full reporting including test data and non-compliance issues
  • Technical documentation is completed to the highest standard
  • UKCA Marking support, including compilation of your Technical File
  • Guidance on any remedial actions required

Contact IES today to discuss Compliance Testing requirements for your electrical equipment. Send us a message and we’ll get straight back to you.

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