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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This document provides advice and guidance on how to achieve this. This website uses non-intrusive cookies to improve your user experience.

However, non-contact or gs3 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. When it comes to buying new voltage detectors, you can be sure compliance with GS38 if the unit you are buying gse to BS EN When it comes to proving dead this has always been advised against by Electrical Safety First previously the Electrical Safety Council. This 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.

This section has some in-depth points regarding correct equipment selection. Only devices which make contact with the conductor ie not proximity devices should be used for proving dead. Specific requirements for test leads In line with sg38 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: Whenever ge38 are changes made to legislation and best practice, questions are often raised regarding existing equipment and whether it can still be used.

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GS38 Fourth edition Download a free copy. The fourth edition of GS38 makes two important points regarding the purchase of new equipment and the use of older equipment. Health and Safety Executive. 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.

If you are unsure as to what test leads you need to use, speak to our technical team on While it has fundamentally remained the same as the previous version, there are some key additions that could affect the way you test, or the equipment you are using.


If your leads g38 during testing it can be easy to swap them for another set from a multimeter or clamp meter.

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 carried out by a competent person. Other changes include the use of proving units, non-contact voltage detectors and installation category ratings.

Such devices should be proved before and after use.

Two key points have been added to the examples of common problems to look for: A footnote has been added to clarify that live working is defined as any testing or fault finding on live systems. If you find you have leads or test equipment that no longer meet these requirements, or have been damaged, it would be advisable to replace them to ensure your ongoing safety.

Is this page useful? However, if those leads are not rated to the same category as your installation, you could be putting yourself at risk. A newly added paragraph touches on the importance or carrying out risk assessments, putting into place relevant safety measures and the use of appropriate PPE.

Safe working practices Memorandum of guidance on the Electricity at Work Regulation. A – switch to normal size A – switch to large size A – switch to larger size. The document provides advice and guidance on how to work safely and ensure the right equipment is used and maintained properly.

Hse guidance note gs38:

See also Electrical safety at work Safe maintenance Risk management The health and hee toolbox – how to control risks at work. Electrical test equipment for use on low voltage electrical systems Date of publication: A final change regarding test leads relates to the use of fused leads.

HSE aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. Throughout this section, revisions have been made to include the need for ongoing risk assessments to ensure safety is maintained as well as hs of the need for selecting the right CAT safety rating for the installation under fs38.

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. We look at the key changes in the fourth edition, the full version of which can be downloaded at the end of this article. 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. Wherever possible, all work on electrical systems should be carried out with the system dead.


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.

For multimeters, fused leads should have a high-breaking capacity fuse hbc or hrc with a current rating that usually should not exceed mA.

Skip to content Skip to navigation. There are particular requirements for the use of non-contact devices in coalmines.

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

Updates regarding the causes of accidents This section has been expanded on to include additional issues that have been raised since the previous publication: This fourth edition includes current test equipment and references and links to further guidance have been updated.

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. As a general rule, 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 the installation category.

A brief guide Electricity at work: An important point raised in the causes of accidents is the use of multimeters. Trusted by Professionals Search: General changes The guidance note has been amended to reflect the wide range of people who work on electrical systems, particularly those where electrical testing is not a primary activity such as gas installers and alarm installers.

There are several points highlighted here that should be considered closely when it comes to test equipment selection.