It is important to know the basic information about workplace electrical risks and prevention, especially if you are working in the electrical field. Every year, there are about 1000 accidents at work involving electrical shocks or burns. You must be able to identity workplace electrical risks and know how to avoid hazards which can lead to serious injury, property damage and even death. Here are some common workplace electrical risks and some tips on how to avoid them.
Workplace Electrical Risks
Here are some of the most common workplace electrical risks:
Faulty Equipment: Equipment that isn’t working properly can cause electrical shocks. These shocks can cause serious injury in and of themselves, but can also lead to workers falling off ladders or other platforms. Faulty equipment and electrical appliances can also cause fires.
Misuse of Equipment: Workers who do not have adequate training on certain pieces of equipment may not follow all the necessary safety precautions. This can result in electrical shocks or fire.
Misperceptions: Workers may be working on or near equipment which they thought which they thought was dead but is actually live.
Electrical Safety and Prevention
In order to avoid these common workplace electrical risks, here are some precautions that should be taken:
- Install new electrical systems that are up to code and maintained properly.
- Make sure there is an adequate amount of socket outlets for the equipment being used. Avoid overloading outlets and using adapters that can cause fires.
- Provide a clearly identified ‘Emergency Off’ switch or button which will cut all power supplies in case of emergency.
- Choose the right electrical equipment that is suitable for the job being performed.
- Electrical equipment that is being used in flammable areas should be approved for these areas and should not produce sparks.
- Protect light bulbs and easily damaged equipment when working with electricity.
- Make sure equipment has a correctly rated fuse.
- Make sure cable ends have their outer sheaths firmly clamped to stop wires from working loose from plugs.
- Replace damaged sections of cables completely. Do not attempt to use insulating tape to repair damaged cables.
- Use recommended connectors to join lengths of cables. Do not use insulating tape or splice wires and attempt to twist them together.
- Be aware that some wire is double insulated. You can recognize these because they will be marked with a ‘double square’ symbol.
- Make sure all wires you are using are connected securely.
- If you find faulty equipment, take it out of use immediately and label it as faulty. Do not attempt to use it again until it is repaired by an experienced technician.
If you are working around electrical equipment, it is highly likely that you might encounter workplace electrical risks on a daily basis. Raising awareness for you and your co-workers, in addition to proper care and maintenance of electrical equipment is key in preventing hazards, injury and damage. That’s why it’s so important to familiarize yourself with potential dangers, learn how to avoid them, and be prepared in case of emergency. Good luck keeping yourself and your workplace safe.