Contractors, distributors, importers targeted to raise awareness of electrical safety

Georgetown, GINA, July 5, 2016

Safety and awareness are at the top of the agenda for the Government Electrical Inspectorate (GEI) division. The division will be hosting awareness seminars to inform electrical contractors, importers, and distributors on safety measures when embarking on electrical installation (wiring) in buildings in an effort to ensure safety in homes and offices.

Chief Electrical Inspector, GEI, Arnold Barclay in an interview with Government Information Agency (GINA), said the seminars are slated for August/September 2016 and will inform contractors that the importation of materials and electrical equipment must reach the specified standard which is approved by the National Electrical Code (NEC) and identify codes relevant to Guyana.

“We would like to convince contractors who are doing their houses to ensure that when they are purchasing materials that these materials are approved and listed.”

Chief Electrical Inspector, of the Electrical Inspectorate Division, Arnold Barclay

Chief Electrical Inspector, of the Electrical Inspectorate Division, Arnold Barclay

Once the materials are listed and certified safe, the GEI would give approval for purchase. “We are working to ensure that persons follow the right procedure in performing electrical work,” Barclay stated.

The GEI is the  safety body within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure set up to protect electricity users against the hazard of unsafe and unsound electrical installation.  It is the industry’s safety regulatory body which inspects and certifies electrical installation to ensure that they are safe and put into operation by the Guyana Power and Light (GPL).

The seminars will also inform the contractors that a training programme will be implemented to ensure that they understand what the NEC is, and other safety measures expected of them when wiring a building. “The idea is to ensure that Guyanese are safe as possible especially from fires since electrical equipment mostly cause fires. By law all contractors have to be certified by the GEI,” he explained.

Before commencement of any electrical work, electrical layouts/ designs must be submitted to the GEI for approval and inspections are conducted during installation.

In Guyana, the Electricity Sector Regulations and the National Electrical Code are the standards for safe installation of electrical wiring equipment.

The seminars will continue across the regions to ensure that safety is widespread and that importers are properly informed.