Practicing Electrical Safety at Work – What You Need to Know

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Practicing Electrical Safety at Work

Although electricity is the cornerstone of modern living, these electrical hazards can kill or severely injure people and even cause damage to property if proper precautions are not taken. Therefore, practicing electrical safety is the key component to ensure worker safety as well as that of their surroundings.

This blog post will be in-depth content for implementing electrical safety tips to ensure safe work practices are conducted.

What are the Hazards?

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 refers to a wide range of dangers related to electricity causing a serious risk of injury or even death.

The key hazards of working with electricity are:

  • Electric shocks or burns due to contact with live parts
  • Arc fault 
  • Ground faults
  • Old wiring
  • Overloaded outlets
  • Faulty appliances & cords
  • Broken smoke alarms
  • Electrical exposure to water
  • Leaving electrical parts exposed 
  • Fires occurring due to faulty wires 
  • Contact with overhead powerlines
  • Improperly or not using personal protective equipment at work

Injuries that might occur due to these electrical hazards are:

  • Cardiac arrest as a result of the electrical effect on the heart
  • Muscle or nerve damage due to current passing through the body
  • Falls or injuries after an electric shock 
  • Burns from high temperatures resulted from the arc
  • Hearing loss due to arc blast 

Electrical Safety Tips for the Workplace 

Electrical safety is a general practice of handling and maintaining electrical equipment to avoid or minimize any hazard it may pose to a worker. Below are some safety tips to be aware of to ensure workplace safety:

  • Avoid Contact with Live Electrical Current

The best way to stay safe from electrical hazards is to avoid contact with live electrical currents as much as possible. If a worker has to work in such an area or uses equipment with more than 50V, it is required to maintain a safe distance.  

  • Ensure Safe Use When Unplugging the Equipment 

It is commonly seen that individuals when disconnecting electrical equipment do not pay much attention to safety practices. It is required to gently pull it by the plug rather than jerking the electrical cord to avoid any potential hazards.

  • Ensure the Safe Use of Electrical Equipment  

Properly using all electrical equipment can go a long way to guarantee everyone’s safety at work. Workers or employees using electrical equipment must take care of how they handle electrical cords. They are required not to overstretch electrical cords or hand electrical equipment with cords to avoid the dangers.

  • Prevent Electrical Equipment Contact with Wet Areas

Working with electrical equipment in a wet environment or conditions is a serious health hazard to be aware of. Never operate electrical equipment in wet locations. Water greatly increases the risk of electrocution especially if the equipment is damaged.

  • Be More Cautious with Flammable Materials 

Working with or around electrical equipment can also increase the risk of fires. It is recommended that the electrical equipment that can cause ignition must not be used near flammable gases or vapors to prevent any fire hazards.

  • Always Inspect the Electrical Equipment 

Inspecting electrical equipment for its proper use and working is also an important safety tip to be aware of to ensure electrical safety. Inspect portable cord-and-plug connected equipment, extension cords, power bars, and electrical fittings for any damage or wear and tear to ensure their safe use.

  • Install Warning Signs 

Having clear warning signs and symbols in the workplace is also an effective safety tip to minimize the risk of electrical hazards. Employers are required to use proper signs where there is a high voltage in the work area so that people are aware of the danger.

Additional Steps to Follow 

Along with the implementation of the above-mentioned safety tips, employers are also required to incorporate adequate training sessions in their vicinity to make sure their workers and staff members are competent enough to deal with the hazard. 

Some courses managers and supervisors can offer their workforce are electrical safety training, PAT testing course electrical safety risk assessment, welding fume control training, fire awareness training, hot works training, hazardous substances training, Lock Out Tag Out training, and more such related courses.

In Summary 

Electrical hazards are by far the most dangerous health hazards exposing workers to a risk of severe injury or even death. 

Those responsible for controlling and managing such hazards in their workplace need to ensure they have proper arrangements within their work environment to create awareness of the risk among the personnel along with risk control measures to minimize the danger.

Proper training is also needed to make people aware of vital knowledge they need to have. This content piece, therefore, highlighted some major electrical hazards and injuries to watch out for while at work and what safety practices must be implemented to guarantee a safe and secure workplace.

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