An Author's View - The IET Standards Guide To Electrical Maintenance

Cameron Steel
Former Chair of the Built Environment Sector
Several years ago I was fortunate to be asked to take the role of Chair of the Built Environment Sector. As part of the scoping exercise for the BE Sector it was apparent that the Sector team would have to assist in increasing the IET’s body of knowledge. The most obvious way to do that was to assist by lending our collective expertise to the IET Standards team. What has followed is a steady stream of publications which can be seen on the IET standards pages.

For the last 2 years I have been lucky enough to be involved with a couple of those publications in a technical review role –
  Now though, I have had a chance to change my role that of technical author. With the support of Paul Bicheno and the IET Standards team, I have written the
  The book is now available via the IET website for pre-order and will be published by IET Standards on 25th August 2015.

Providing electrical maintenance in a safe and efficient manner is much more than just changing a lamp when it fails or replacing a socket when it is damaged. The guide helps in various stages of the maintenance process.
Section 1 demonstrates the legislative background to why maintenance is actually necessary. Within section 2 there are concepts and ideas behind asking key questions when new projects are formulated to ensure that the maintenance perspective is at the forefront of any new building services electrical design.

Section 3 explores the process of maintenance and discusses the benefits and consequences of maintenance. It also describes approaches to ensure that is a system safely isolated, properly tested and correctly returned to service. Within section 4 maintenance strategies are defined and developed. Other topics are Health and Safety risks, operational risks and safe systems of work.

Section 5 concerns the evaluation and auditing of the maintenance process – how to control and effectively manage maintenance procedures and improve them over time. Appendix B then describes a number of different electrical systems and highlights key activities relevant to an effective maintenance regime. Along the way a number of documents are cross referenced to aid further research by the reader.

The Guide is aimed at electrical technicians, maintenance managers and also at office-based design staff. Good maintenance regimes do not happen by accident: they need careful planning, proactive management and comprehensive reporting. The tone for good maintenance is also established beforehand by considerate design, intelligent construction and satisfactory commissioning.
A good maintenance regime also has its part to play in a more sustainable world where correctly maintained electrical systems keep operating at their maximum energy efficiency and are disposed of correctly at the end of their lifecycle.
Whilst there have been other Maintenance publications from the IET in the past, this guide seeks to demonstrate a different approach that encourages the reader to look beyond the individual task and assess the bigger picture. I have enjoyed the experience of writing it drawing on several years of experience firstly as an electrician and latterly as a design consultant.

I am now looking forward to other authoring challenges in the future and playing my part in increasing the IET’s body of knowledge for the Built Environment Sector and for the wider engineering community.

My personal thanks to each of Bruce Knowles, Graham Kenyon, Simon Robinson, Martin Hurn, Russ Hayes and Barry Manser, for their kind input and reviews.

I would also like to bring to your attention that two other publications are being released next week by IET Standards
Cameron Steel
Former Chair, Built Environment Sector IET
Posted by Hannah Uzor on Aug 17, 2015 3:00 PM Europe/London


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