All electrical equipment used in workplaces has the potential to be dangerous. The situation of danger usually occurs when a piece of equipment is mis-utilized or isn’t maintained properly.
It is a well-known fact that humans are good electrical conductors. And this implies that you will receive a shock if the open electric circuit makes touch with your body. And the electric current will move from one part of your body to the next, causing severe pain, burns, and harm to the muscles, nerves, and tissues.
In this blog, you will read about common electrical hazards and basic electrical safety rules you must follow.
Common Electrical Hazards
Electrical risks at work can be exceedingly dangerous if not adequately managed. They can cause severe injury or even death. So, you must become familiar with all the potential hazards and what causes them.
- Burns and electric shock from coming into contact with live wires
- Fire caused by improper installation of electrical equipment
- Defective and poorly maintained electrical equipment
- Outlets that are overloaded or too hot
- Using extension cords and flexible leads
- Incorrect fuse replacement technique
- Using electrical equipment with moist hands or close to a water source
- Companies must ensure that their staff members know how to spot, avoid, and eliminate these hazards.
This can involve:
- Conducting routine checks for electrical safety
- Receiving instructions on handling electrical equipment
- Putting on safety gear such as gloves and goggles while working with electrical equipment
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Workplace Electrical Safety Tips
So, to assist you in preventing electrical hazards at work, here are a few electrical safety tips:
1. Avoid any possible contact with live current.
Avoiding electrical dangers is the greatest way to keep one safe. If you must work with electrical currents, keep a safe distance if you’re not certified. Before you start operations, ensure all panel doors are closed. You must also make sure there are no exposed wires near your work area.
- Make sure all electrical equipment is used safely.
- Employees should be cautious when handling electrical cords. They should –
- Always pull out the plug head while unplugging a cord rather than the cord itself.
- Not press or over-extend the electrical cables.
- Not use staples to secure cables.
- Avoid hanging electrical equipment from cords.
Additionally, specialists must check every cord and plug in the office for external flaws before use. Do not use any equipment that has a damaged cable or plug. Circuit-protection devices such as circuit breakers and fuses must be appropriately rated for the circuit they protect.
2. Ensure adequate physical barriers are placed around electrical hazards.
Employees should always be protected from any electrical dangers through physical barriers. Electrical panels should always have the cabinet doors shut. They shouldn’t have any openings where workers can accidentally touch exposed wires.
3. Use shields, barriers, and warning signs when working.
When working in an open area, it is best to keep others outside the work area. The area in front of the electrical panel should be clear of any obstructions. There should be sufficient warning signs to alert staff to the danger.
4. Use lockout/Tagout and de-energize equipment.
Before you start any work on or near exposed live electrical components, they must be de-energized. You can isolate electrical energy by locking and tagging out the electrical system to prevent mishaps. You can make this a rule in your company’s Lockout/Tagout policy. The purpose of lockout/tagout is to safeguard workers from electrical risks while they do service and maintenance tasks.
5. Look out for the power lines above when working overhead.
Be cautious of electrical lines when performing any repair or work overhead. Most workplaces may contain electrical equipment and sections above the floor. And those wires can only be accessed via ladders or high platforms. So, when undertaking overhead work, use a portable ladder with non-conductive side rails. Make sure to keep at least 10 feet clear of any exposed electrical wires.
6. Work on live electrical wires should only be done by qualified personnel.
Avoid touching live electrical wires if you come across them. Only trained professionals should approach and handle live electrical hazards. And if you must work, then you should work under proper guidance.
7. Be very cautious when using flammable materials.
Electrical equipment that can ignite and produce flammable vapors, fumes, or dust must not be used. The only exceptions to this rule are when trained individuals lockout and isolate electrical energy sources. These potentially combustible materials should be operated under only proper guidance.
8. Avoid using cleaning tools and conductive tools.
Always presume that electrical components are live and take precautions as necessary. Especially when you are operating in an area with an electrical hazard, avoid using conductive tools there.
When cleaning the area, be aware that some cleaning supplies are also conductive and need extra care.
Steel wool and metalized cloth are conductive, as are solvent and water-based cleaning products. Keep any conductive tools and cleaning agents away from live electrical components and equipment.
9. Always comply with the electrical safety work practices of your company.
Every organization has different electrical safety procedures. It mainly depends on your sector’s electrical equipment and hazards. To keep yourself and your employees safe, it’s crucial to always adhere to your company’s specific electrical safety procedures.
Workplace electrical safety is crucial for avoiding accidents and injuries. You must ensure that your staff members receive appropriate instructions and tools. Thus, consider the above-mentioned electrical safety recommendations listed here and others while creating an appropriate safety procedure.
Also, be sure to raise awareness of potential risks and take the appropriate safety measures. You must make strict guidelines for wearing personal protective equipment while working on or near the electrical panel. Not to mention following the right procedures. Lastly, you must keep a tab on your building’s electrical systems and ensure that all equipment has an available switch to cut the power in case of an emergency.
About Werner Protective: Werner Protective was launched with the sole mission to become an industry leader in providing protective and safety solutions for businesses across the construction, mining and metalworks sectors through a relationship driven service. Only on our platform, you will find reliable and professionally designed safety equipment supplies made by the top Protective Apparel suppliers. Don’t take any risk and make your workplace remain compliant with the required rules and regulations by using the right type of personal protective clothing and equipment personal protective supplies available at Werner Protective. We are committed to delivering well-designed and comfortable safety or protective equipment (PPE) that will provide the workers with the most effective and better protection available. Give us a call today and talk directly to our owners at (847) 860-7169 or visit us online.
PPE and Protective Gear FAQ
What is Personal Protective Equipment?
Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as “PPE”, is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. These injuries and illnesses may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Source: OSHA
What are the main types of Personal Protective Equipment?
Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits. Source: OSHA
What can be done to ensure proper use of personal protective equipment?
All personal protective equipment should be safely designed and constructed, and should be maintained in a clean and reliable fashion. It should fit comfortably, encouraging worker use. If the personal protective equipment does not fit properly, it can make the difference between being safely covered or dangerously exposed. When engineering, work practice, and administrative controls are not feasible or do not provide sufficient protection, employers must provide personal protective equipment to their workers and ensure its proper use. Employers are also required to train each worker required to use personal protective equipment to know:
- When it is necessary
- What kind is necessary
- How to properly put it on, adjust, wear and take it off
- The limitations of the equipment
- Proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of the equipment
- If PPE is to be used, a PPE program should be implemented. This program should address the hazards present; the selection, maintenance, and use of PPE; the training of employees; and monitoring of the program to ensure its ongoing effectiveness. Source: OSHA
Where to buy PPE?
We might be bias, but Werner Protective is the best place to buy PPE and Safety Equipment. Give us a call at (847) 986-9849 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org