Category: Electrical Safety

Electrical Safety in Your Workplace

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Electrical Safety in the Workplace

Protecting employees from electrical hazards is an absolute must, and ensuring electrical safety in the workplace is critical for accomplishing that. Whether they are out in the field, on the factory floor or in the office, employees need to be aware of potential electrical hazards and know how to recognize them.

Field and Factory

Working with machinery and power tools presents inherent electrical risks. It’s important for everyone using these tools to know how to avoid injuries caused by electrical hazards. Defective tools, improper connections, or misuse of tools greatly increases a worker’s chance of electrical injury. Make sure that each employee practices electrical safety in the workplace. Here are some basic electrical safety tips:

  • Check for warm or hot outlets that are often a sign that an unsafe wiring condition exists
  • Outdoor circuits, and those located near water, must be protected by a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) or a portable in-line GFCI
  • Identify the location of electrical panels and circuit breakers
  • Don’t use outlets or cords that have exposed wiring
  • Don’t use portable cord-and-plug power tools with the guards removed
  • Use fiberglass or wood ladders when working near electricity or power lines
  • Utilize extension cords that are correctly rated for each tool
  • Use the right tools for the job
  • Check cords for cut, broken, or cracked insulation
  • Keep slack in cords to avoid putting stress on electrical connections
  • Ensure the ground wires are connected and operational
  • Know the locations of all buried or embedded electrical circuits before digging or cutting
  • Find out why a fuse operated or circuit breaker tripped before replacing or resetting it

Office

Construction and manufacturing employees arguably have a higher risk of exposure to electrical hazards than office workers do, but that doesn’t mean they are immune to injury. A number of electrical hazards can be found in the office: ungrounded equipment, overloaded circuits, defective or damaged power or extension cords, poor placement of extension cords, exposed live parts, working on live equipment, blocking electrical panels. To avoid these hazards office workers should follow these basic safe practices:

  • Turn off all appliances (coffee makers, radios, lamps, space heaters, etc.) at the end of the day
  • Use only appliances with grounded plugs connected to grounded (three prong plugs) outlets
  • Disconnect any electrical equipment that malfunctions or gives off a strange odor and call maintenance
  • Don’t attempt to move or repair an energized or plugged in device
  • Don’t use cracked, frayed, or broken electrical cords
  • Never remove the grounding prong from a device or extension cord
  • Keep extension cords clear of hazardous areas
  • Don’t overload circuits by plugging one extension cord into another
  • Do not attach extension cords with staples, hang from nails, or suspend them by wires
  • Don’t force a plug into an outlet
  • Check for outlets that have loose-fitting plugs or covers

Electrical safety in the workplace needs to be everyone’s priority. Consider using reminders, safety posters, and frequent refresher training to emphasize this message to all employees.

Call (888) 247-6136 today to speak with one of our safety solutions experts.