BASEC aiming to reduce safety risks

The British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC) has warned electrical contractors and specifiers that mixing imperial and metric measurement systems can result in safety hazards.

The British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC) has warned electrical contractors and specifiers that mixing imperial and metric measurement systems can result in safety hazards.

The warning follows a European Union (EU) ruling that the UK can continue to use imperial measurements. "Although this decision has been seen as a victory by many traders in the UK there are some very real dangers of mixing imperial and metric systems when it comes to engineering safety," stressed BASEC chief executive Jeremy Hodge.

"Cable standards and the Wiring Regulations are all set out in metric units. Mixing the two systems could result in the purchase and installation of the wrong size cable and an installer would also most likely be called upon to remove and make good any errors made on this basis," he added.

To reduce the risks BASEC is introducing controls to enable the use of either system. Its certification committee has approved new rules for the marking of drums and reels for BASEC-approved cables, with a requirement for the units of measure to be stated as well as the quantity.

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