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Getting the 18th Edition message across

Mar 2019 18th Edition | Comments Off on Getting the 18th Edition message across
Getting the 18th Edition message across

With the new IET Wiring Regulations now in full force, there are still electrical contractors who are looking to manufacturers and distributors for support and guidance when it comes to successfully navigating the new mandatory changes. Steve York, residential market manager at Hager, explains what electrical contractors can do to ensure they are up to speed on the changes

1 January 2019, marked a major milestone for the electrical industry, with all parts of the sector affected by the changing regulatory landscape set out in the recently published 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations.

The 18th Edition looks to further improve current safety standards, provide clarification around existing regulations, and open the door for new technologies and methods to be incorporated in the future across the industry.

As part of our commitment to ensuring that electrical contractors are supported through this period of transition, Hager launched its ‘Regs Live’ initiative last year to ensure electrical professionals are up to speed with the new regulatory world.

‘Regs Live’ – supporting the industry

Hager created an integrated communications campaign – ‘Regs Live’ – as a unified platform from which to get important 18th Edition-related advice, guidance and recommendations out to the industry.

‘Regs Live’ offers the industry the means to access the information it needs in a manner that suits the individual. This includes the availability of in-depth training courses provided by Hager experts that set out both the significant changes to the regulations and, importantly, how they will practically affect day-to-day installations and electricians’ responsibilities.

Hager has visited various parts of the UK during 2018 with the ‘Regs Live’ regional roadshow. Many electricians have used this opportunity to come along and meet Hager’s technical experts face-to-face.

A handy bite-size guide to all things 18th Edition has been authored by Hager’s technical team. It provides a quick and accessible overview of what has changed as a result of the 18th Edition, including reference to mandatory product changes.
‘Reg the Bot’

Hager also used other innovative communication tools to engage with electricians, including in July 2018 the launch of ‘Reg’ – Hager’s 18th Edition chatbot.

Users can access the chatbot using Facebook Messenger, via the Hager Facebook page. Here, the industry-leading initiative provides a primary information source for electricians keen to know more about the 18th Edition changes.

Designed by Hager’s experts, users of the chatbot are finding it simple to navigate around the subject matters of interest to them so they can speedily uncover the right information they require.

The 18th Edition headline changes include the use of arc fault detection devices (AFDD), correct RCD selection, surge protection, overload protection of devices, and the incorporation of devices within enclosures. Each of these are broken down into accessible sections that ensure contractors can find what they are interested in without delay.

Users can ask ‘Reg the Bot’ any questions they have on the 18th Edition, confident that the answers provided are accurate and helpful in terms of enhancing their current knowledge levels and that it points them in the right direction about what to
do next.

More than 2,000 two-way online conversations have already been held between ‘Reg’ and the electrical community, highlighting some of the key areas of interest and concern for electricians.

A prime example is the new onus on contractors to carry out risk assessments to determine whether surge protection devices are needed on future electrical installations. This is a new departure for many contractors and it is important that they get up to speed swiftly before they potentially fall foul of the revised regulations.

Analysis of the online conversations that have already taken place, and which are of most interest to users of the Bot, points to the topic of surge protection as a priority area. ‘Reg’ is providing straightforward guidance so that professional electricians are fully armed with knowledge that will keep them compliant going forward.

Any electrical professionals who feel they need more support can access help and advice from Hager. The online chatbot is on Facebook as an accessible source of easy-to-understand information, while 18th Edition-themed training courses held at Hager’s Telford HQ will continue running throughout 2019.