Health & Safety Executive GS38 guidance note is aimed at people who use electrical test equipment on low voltage circuits. Institution (BSI) guidance and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance Regulations lists HSE Guidance Note GS38 – Electrical test equipment. This is a free-to-download, web-friendly version of GS38 (First edition, published ). This version has been adapted for online use from HSE’s current printed.

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HSE GS38 Fourth Edition – What you need to know to stay compliant

Is this page useful? Two key points have been added to the examples of common problems to look for: However, non-contact or proximity devices can be useful in indicating if something is live, eg when attempting to remove a single cable installed in trunking containing many single cables.

Electrical test equipment for use on low voltage electrical systems Date of publication: Risky business Vehicle safety on farms Kidsafe: Updates regarding the causes of accidents This section has been expanded on to include additional issues that have been raised since the previous publication: For loop impedance, RCD or multifunction testers, the fuse will typically be 10A. These regular references to CAT safety ratings in the fourth edition of GS38 highlight the importance of ensuring that you have the right equipment and test leads for the job.

Skip to content Skip to navigation. If you are unsure as to what test leads you need to use, speak to our technical team on The Regulations permit few circumstances where it is acceptable for live working activities to be carried out on electrical equipment or systems, this includes electrical testing and fault finding.

Specific requirements for test leads In line with changes made to the standards that cover the manufacture of test leads, there are some specific requirements that leads should comply with added in the fourth edition: If hae leads break during testing it can be easy to swap them for another set from a multimeter or clamp meter. This website uses non-intrusive cookies to improve your user experience. The fourth edition of GS38 makes two important points regarding the purchase of new equipment and the use of older equipment.


A newly added paragraph touches on the importance or carrying out risk assessments, putting into place relevant safety measures and the use of g3s8 PPE. Provided your existing equipment or leads meet either of the above there should be no need to replace anything until they hsr it. When it comes to proving dead this has always been advised against hae Electrical Safety First previously the Electrical Safety Council.

Electrical test equipment for use on low voltage electrical systems

For multimeters, fused leads should have a high-breaking capacity fuse hbc or hrc with a current rating that usually should not exceed mA. A brief guide Electricity at work: However, if those leads are not rated to the same category as your installation, you could be putting yourself at risk. Safe working practices Memorandum of guidance on the Electricity at Work Regulation. This has a new paragraph added regarding the use of non-contact detectors, or volt sticks: Precautions before testing This section has been expanded upon to recognise additional test processes covered by the guidance note.

Clarification of the different installation categories BS EN CAT ratings is included in the guidance note as a reference and a visual guide is available to download at the end of this article.

An important point raised in the causes of accidents is the use of multimeters. Wherever possible, all work on electrical systems should be carried out with the system dead. The guidance has not fundamentally changed from the previous version.

HSE GS38 compliant tip caps

Other changes include the use of proving units, non-contact voltage detectors and installation category ratings. A footnote vs38 been added to clarify that live working is defined as any testing or fault finding on live systems. Trusted by Professionals Search: This has changed in the fourth edition, emphasising the importance of using test leads and test equipment that is suitable for the category of the installation.

This section has some in-depth points regarding correct equipment selection. GS38 Fourth edition Download a free copy.

Throughout this section, revisions have been made to include the need for ongoing risk assessments to ensure safety is maintained as well as re-emphasis of the need for selecting the right CAT safety rating for the installation under test.

We look at the key changes in the fourth edition, the full version of which can be downloaded at the end of this article.


This should be done preferably on a voltage proving unit some devices have built-in proving units or otherwise on a known live source of similar voltage to the circuit under test providing precautions are taken to prevent danger arising. See also Electrical safety at work Safe maintenance Risk management The health and safety toolbox – how to control risks at work.

Examination of equipment The changes here are mainly with the wording, however this section does highlight the need to maintain regular checks of test equipment and that these should be jse out by a competent person.

Related products Electrical safety and you: Whenever there are changes made to legislation and best practice, questions are often raised regarding existing equipment and whether it can still be used.

The document provides advice and guidance on how to work safely and ensure the right equipment is used and maintained properly. Gw38 is an important safety issue as using equipment that is not correctly rated for the installation category can and has resulted in serious injury and death.

Hse guidance note gs38:

This includes electrical testing where dead tests are often as effective as live measurements. There are several points hsee here that should be considered closely when it comes to test equipment selection. The Electricity at Work Regulations require those in control of all or part of an electrical system to ensure it is safe to use and maintained in a safe condition. HSE aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health.

Setting the multimeter to the wrong voltage range will lead to a false reading, but having it set to measure current or resistance can result in excessive current being drawn through the test probes, leads and multimeter. When it comes to buying new voltage detectors, you can be sure compliance with GS38 if the unit you are buying complies to BS EN As a general use, GS38 states that any equipment or test leads that conform to BS EN or BS EN will meet the requirements and be compliant, provided you have taken into consideration gx38 installation category.