Posting a message to the forum will remove the above advertisement

Discuss NHS issues safety alert on socket covers requiring removal from NHS premises! in the Electrical Forum area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

Please make sure you checkout our forum sponsors, many do discounts for members and, they keep the forum free to use.
  1. FatallyFlawed
    Offline

    FatallyFlawed Electrician's Arms

    The NHS has just published a safety alert about socket covers which requires them to be removed from all NHS premises!

    It says: "This Alert is issued to highlight how, in certain circumstances, the use of plastic 13A (13 amp) electrical socket inserts (sold as safety accessories) can overcome the safety features designed into socket outlets.13A electrical socket inserts should not be used in health or social care premises, nor supplied for use in a home or residence. Any socket inserts currently in use should be withdrawn from use and responsibly disposed of."

    There is a full explanation here.
     
    • Like Like x 23
  2. martinh287
    Offline

    martinh287 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    North East
    Yeah we have been issued with this warning. We have these at various places thoughout the hospital. Our children's ward are asking for a alternative solution.
     
  3. UKMeterman
    Offline

    UKMeterman Electrician's Arms

    Hi,
    I had a go at abusing some MK Logic plus sockets, have a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUqaU5OlJ4E have a look from 4:00
     
    • Like Like x 4
  4. telectrix
    Offline

    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    the alternative is to leave the sockets alone as designed. ensure that RCD protection is in place.
     
    • Like Like x 9
  5. netblindpaul
    Offline

    netblindpaul Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    South Wales
    There is no need for ANY alternative solution, the sockets are already inherently safe.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  6. NDG Elecs
    Online

    NDG Elecs Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Tyne and Wear
    I could not read the full explanation as the page was not displaying (due to browser security at my end). I hope as well as sensibly advising the removal of these things they are getting someone to check each sockets shutter mechanism has not seized up.

    Good work FF.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Carl S
    Offline

    Carl S EF Member

    Location:
    Stockport


    On my father’s instruction I am posting this:

    https://www.cas.dh.gov.uk/ViewandAcknowledgment/ViewAlert.aspx?AlertID=102494

    The full Department of Health directive and if you follow the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] link it will lead to the PDF where you will find it also applies to OFSTED regulated premises.

    martinh287, as NetBlindPaul pointed out. You have no option other than comply with the directive.
     
    • Like Like x 6
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
  8. LED Lighting
    Offline

    LED Lighting Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Wales
    There is only one type of socket cover/protector which can make the sockets safer than they are already.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B0...AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=socket+protector

    Sorry it's amazon but these covers lock closed over the the socket stopping anything being plugged in or removed.
    I have seen some which can be opened with a magnet or a key.
    But as about and many other posts the UK sockets are the safest ever and don't require any intervention to make them safer
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Midwest
    Offline

    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Is this a wind up or something, no offence LED. I can only assume the reason to lock up a socket, is to stop people pinching your electricity!
     
  10. Midwest
    Offline

    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
  11. stevethesparks
    Offline

    stevethesparks Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northampton
    It would appear that many sparks here do not like the MK brand. For the reasons given, this is my selling point for using MK socket outlets, in my opinion they are second to none for safety in this regard. Worth the extra pennies.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. UNG
    Offline

    UNG Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Nr Wigan, Lancs
    Back in I think the late 80's the NHS actually banned under a HTM the use of MK sockets in all NHS premises as the "new" shutter they used didn't need the earth pin and could be operated by any 2 pin plug, Crabtree then became the preferred brand while MK failed to tackle this known problem for many years, while they have now fixed the problem (not sure when) there are many more manufacturers in the marketplace to chose from now and having made such a poor modification with safety issues to their sockets back then MK has lost the trust they had with a lot of sparks who have moved on to other brands
     
  13. happysteve
    Online

    happysteve Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Nottingham
    Business Name:
    Dovecote Electrical
    A good reason might be to stop a kid plugging an appliance that could be dangerous (to them) into a socket. The usual example is a portable fan heater: might get a burn, or covered over with a pile of clothes causing a fire.

    It's generally easier to just do a mental risk assessment and just store stuff like that out of reach if it's potentially gonna be a problem.
     
  14. telectrix
    Offline

    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    can also be used to stop anyone unplugging an appliance e.g. a computer.
     
  15. UNG
    Offline

    UNG Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Nr Wigan, Lancs
    Does this mean these horrible things are going to be removed from those Bounty boxes the NHS hand out to new mothers as well, it would be a bit hypocritical if they don't
     
    • Like Like x 1
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  16. Spoon
    Offline

    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
  17. netblindpaul
    Offline

    netblindpaul Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    South Wales
    The thing with that is that the two live pins actuating mechanism is valid under BS1363 and always has been, however, the pins must be rectangular and, compliant with BS1363 themselves, thus it is impossible ti open them with a round pin "euro" plug.
    This is one of the issues with "socket protectors" they don't have to be designed to the pin dimensions of BS1363.
     
  18. Marvo
    Offline

    Marvo GMES....You absolute beauty. YOU ROCK DUDE!!!! Staff Member

    Location:
    South Africa
    From what I can gather this directive is legally binding for all NHS premises in the UK (please correct me if I'm wrong) so I've pinned this thread for now to get it better attention.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  19. netblindpaul
    Offline

    netblindpaul Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    South Wales
    You are correct Marvo, it is legally binding for all NHS premises throughout the whole of the NHS estate in the UK.
    This will also have further ramifications.
    Thank goodness.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  20. Marvo
    Offline

    Marvo GMES....You absolute beauty. YOU ROCK DUDE!!!! Staff Member

    Location:
    South Africa
    ^^agreed, it's long overdue.
     
  21. kingeri
    Offline

    kingeri Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Just need to get them out of schools now though!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  22. Spoon
    Offline

    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    I have emailed OFSTED the NHS alert link yesterday and asked if they have a similar alert. When I get a reply I will post it.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  23. Andy78
    Offline

    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    Afaik ofsted have had a neutral stance on these for a few years now. They did insist on their use at one point though.
     
  24. Spoon
    Offline

    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    Lets see what they say when they read the NHS alert. See if they still sit on the fence... I can't see how they can though.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  25. Spoon
    Offline

    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    Just in case anyone else would like to email OFSTED and ask them, below is there email address.
    '[email protected]'

    I wonder what they would do if they got load of emails asking about the NHS alert and if it also applied to OFSTED a well...
     
    • Like Like x 2
  26. Flanders
    Offline

    Flanders Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Tamworth
    I've started noting it as information on EICRs. I see them in nurserys and schools all the time I also point the caretaker in the direction of you tube if they don't believe me that they are unsafe
     
    • Like Like x 4
  27. NDG Elecs
    Online

    NDG Elecs Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Tyne and Wear
    It's dead easy to give a quick physical demonstration.
    My missus doubted me about these things. So I got a voltstick and driver out and showed her the issue. She couldn't believe how flimsy some of the covers are.

    To FF. Are you campaigning about the narrowed extension sockets which allow a standard (earth pin of a) plug to be inserted upside down? If not you should do, as these are even easier to open the shutters than the socket protectors in my view.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
  28. JohnnyRingmain
    Offline

    JohnnyRingmain I love cheese. Trainee Access

    Location:
    Bedfordshire
    Any update on this from Ofsted?

    Sent from my HTC Desire 626 using Tapatalk
     
  29. Spoon
    Offline

    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    No mate. I have been told that they are not quick about replying to queries. I will bug them again tomorrow if I haven't had a response.
     
  30. UNG
    Offline

    UNG Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Nr Wigan, Lancs
    Ofsted were quick enough to have a go at my brother's nursery when a potential customer complained that they weren't using these horrible socket covers, so much for sitting on the fence it had to be pointed out to them that they do just that
     
  31. Spoon
    Offline

    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    I have just emailed them again. We will see how it does. I will keep you all informed.
     
  32. FatallyFlawed
    Offline

    FatallyFlawed Electrician's Arms

    Yes, Ofsted do sit firmly on the fence, not surprising as there will be no one with professional electrical expertise within Ofsted (unlike the NHS). However, the person who had a go at your brother's nursery was ignoring Ofsted policy! Inspectors are NOT allowed to make comments regarding socket covers, I quote:

    "Childcare safety issue — electrical socket covers

    Some inspectors are continuing to make judgements about risks to children when inspecting childcare settings where the provider has decided not to use electrical socket covers on exposed sockets.

    Our position on the use of electrical socket covers has not changed. We neither encourage nor discourage the responsible use of socket covers as part of a risk-assessed approach to electrical safety. In line with the relevant requirements for registration, it is up to each individual registered provider to demonstrate to us that the environment is safe for children and meets legal requirements. It is for the provider to decide, as part of the risk assessment they carry out at their premises, how best to protect children from any dangers associated with electric sockets and appliances.

    Inspectors should not set actions or make recommendations in relation to the use of socket covers and should not refer specifically to these in their reports. If a provider is unsure whether or not to use socket covers and asks our advice, we should refer them to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) and Child Accident Protection Trust websites for information to help them make a decision about the use of socket covers and the type of sockets considered as 'safe'."



    For the original, please see page 11 of this Ofsted document.

    Of course, this does not alter the fact that it is time Ofsted woke up and realised that sitting on the fence is just plain stupid, if they are interested in child welfare then they need to make it clear, just as the NHS has done, that socket covers are completely unacceptable!
     
    • Like Like x 3
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
  33. Spoon
    Offline

    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    Thanks for that.

    I have just emailed ROSPA. Told them about the NHS alert and asked what is their policy on the "socket safety covers"
     
  34. Spoon
    Offline

    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    Just got this back from OFSTED.

    Thank you for youre-mail.
    This isconfirmation your email has been received and will be passed to the appropriateteam.
    However should yourequire any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.


    4 days to say that they have received my email. I wonder how long it will take to tell me what their policy is???
     
  35. JohnnyRingmain
    Offline

    JohnnyRingmain I love cheese. Trainee Access

    Location:
    Bedfordshire
    Maybe they sit on the fence when it comes to correspondence also.

    Sent from my HTC Desire 626 using Tapatalk
     
  36. Spoon
    Offline

    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    Still waiting for info from OFSTED & ROSPA but I did find this quote on a ROSPA site.

    Protective Socket Covers for 13-amp Power Outlets RoSPA recommends that all electrical equipment is stored safely away when not in use and children are supervised and warned to keep away from plug socket outlets until they are capable of understanding the risks and are able to use them safely.
    13-amp power sockets made to BS 1363 incorporate a shutter mechanism, which prevents inappropriate access to the live connectors. RoSPA therefore does not consider it necessary to recommend the use of socket covers.

    Electricity - RoSPA
     
    • Like Like x 1
  37. Flanders
    Offline

    Flanders Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Tamworth
  38. wtc
    Offline

    wtc EF Member

    Location:
    Surrey
    Non-electrician here, just someone who enjoys reading this forum, but also a parent. My wife bought and fitted these socket covers some time ago for when our now 2 1/2 year old was crawling. I was talking to her only a few days ago about removing them after reading this thread.

    Anyway, I pulled one out today to plug something in and it snapped, leaving the 'earth pin' in place and the shutters open.

    (Pic taken later, I removed the broken pin straight away with pliers).
    [​IMG]

    These things are now all going in the bin.

    However, these things may have value outside the UK where using the three pin plug. We visit Malaysia frequently and while some sockets seem to be BS1363 with shutters, some newer ones don't seem to have them. Things sold in the shops there have a mixture of UK and two pin European plugs. It's common practice there to force the Euro plug into the three pin socket, so the shutters are probably seen as a nuisance.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  39. Lucien Nunes
    Offline

    Lucien Nunes Mercury Arc Rectifier Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    London
    There is an evil device I believe used in Malaysia and possibly elsewhere, that looks like a socket cover but has holes where the live and neutral pins would be. It is inserted into the socket to open the shutters, allowing the pins of a europlug to be inserted. With 32A ring circuits not only would it defeat the shutters but also the fuse protection required for the appliance flex, so is doubly dangerous to insert a europlug into a UK outlet by whatever means.

    There is an ever-increasing use of socket arrangements, often on adaptors, that are intended to accept many different kinds of plug. They are generally unshuttered, have poorly protected live parts and make poor contact. They are finding their way into the UK through grey-import accessories that do not meet regulations. Most will allow one pin of a plug to be inserted while the others remain exposed. They are now so prevalent that I have to admit to having had to use a few on occasions!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  40. Spoon
    Offline

    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    So I got a reply from Ofsted:

    Thank you for your email of 04 July 2016 and 07 July 2016. Ihave been asked to respond.

    You ask in your email what Ofsted’s policy is on the use ofelectric socket safety covers, and whether we have put out information to alertproviders we regulate of its dangers.

    Our position is clear on this matter. We neither recommend norcriticise the use of socket covers by childcare providers. It is theresponsibility of the provider to ensure that premises, environment andequipment are safe and suitable for their purpose. We do not prescribe the wayin which safety measures are to be put in place. There are no specificrequirements in legislation or the early years statutory framework that socketcovers must be placed in electrical sockets.

    It is for the provider to decide as part of the risk assessmentthey carry out at their premises how best to protect children from dangersassociated with electric sockets and appliances. Providers may wish to consultthe Royal Society for the Prevention ofAccidents (ROSPA) and Child Accident Protection Trust websites forinformation to help them make a decision about the use of socket covers.

    I hope this clarifies our position on the matter.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  41. telectrix
    Offline

    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    they must all have sore arses, sitting on the fence so long.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  42. Midwest
    Offline

    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    What I find confusing, is all these littles kids turning up in school or wherever, to be confronted with these strange devices called socket outlets. It must come as a complete shock for them (excuse the pun), having never seen them before in their lives. Still probably an education for them, as they now know how their TV's and PlayStations come to life.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  43. Flanders
    Offline

    Flanders Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Tamworth
    That good and cleared that up then :mad2:
     
  44. Spoon
    Offline

    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    I am still waiting for a reply from ROSPA. Lets see what they say..
     
  45. FatallyFlawed
    Offline

    FatallyFlawed Electrician's Arms

    I too am still waiting for a reply from the Ofsted contact I have used in the past. Did you point out that NHS has identified the dangers, RoSPA and Child Accident Protection Trust have not?
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
Loading...
Similar Threads - issues safety alert Forum Date
extractor fan issues (as in, it doesn't work very well) New Member Introductions Sep 10, 2017
Any issues with replacing accessories for neighbour? Electrical Wiring, Theories and Regulations Jun 30, 2017

Share This Page

Users found this page by searching for:

  1. Department of health safety warning to remove socket covers

    ,
  2. nhs socket covers

    ,
  3. nhs safetey socket covers

    ,
  4. Department of Health socket covers,
  5. nhs safety sockets,
  6. socket covers nhs
  • Electricians Directory Post a Domestic Job Post a Commercial Job