Important Tips For Electrical Safety In The Workplace

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Electricity is a very serious workplace hazards and can cause significant injuries, and even death. Almost every workplace in Ontario has electrical hazards, with very few exceptions.

Most workers would be surprised at how little electrical current can cause a serious injury or death of a worker. Direct contact with a live 15-amp circuit, the equivalent to a standard household outlet, can result in death. While engineers, electricians, and overhead line workers are those who are most exposed to electrical hazards, employees in other workplaces where they work indirectly with electricity such as office workers, painters, or equipment operators, are also exposed to electrical hazards.

The Dangers of Electrical Hazards in the Workplace

The Health and Safety Executive has reported that annually; they receive approximately 100 reports of electrical accidents in the workplace – about 25 of those resulting in fatal injuries. This is a government body that is in charge of making sure that workplaces adhere to the health and safety regulations that are set to prevent such occurrences.

It is crucial that people in workplaces adhere to and abide by these electrical safety rules in order to save lives and preserve health from electrical accidents at the workplace. Follow these electrical safety tips.

Electrical Safety Tips

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  • Use portable equipment that is close to a plug, so that the power can be quickly and easily be removed from it, in the event of an emergency.
  • Ensure that you can clearly identify and easily access the power switches on your fixed electrical devices, so you can turn them off quickly in the event of an emergency.
  • If electrical devices are faulty or potentially faulty, place that read ‘DO NOT USE’ on them and remove them from their working location until they can be fixed or removed permanently.
  • Don’t pull cables to release a plug from an outlet – hold the plug and pull it from the outlet. Also, turn the socket off at the wall before you unplug the device (if you can).
  • Ensure that you unplug electrical items before you clean them.
  • If you see that the cables on an electrical device is worn or frayed, make sure you replace it as soon as possible.
  • Make sure there are enough electrical sockets provides so that you can avoid overloading electrical sockets or extension cables. Those overloads may result in fires.
  • Try to work with the least voltage you can, when you can, to lessen the likelihood of a serious incident occurring.
  • Let electrical installations be carried out only by professional and qualified electricians. Also, ensure that you abide by legal electrical safety requirements.
  • Always maintain and test your electrical appliances so that they can remain in safe and optimal working condition.

Ensure Proper Electrical Safety in Your Workplace

managers oversee workplace safety review
Ontario has a robust set of regulations around electrical safety called the Electrical Safety Code. This safety code describes the standards for electrical installations, products, and equipment in detail with the goal of creating safe workplaces. It is essential that each workplace is compliant with these regulations not only to stay compliant, but to ensure the safety of each and every one of their workers. Our Arc Flash and Basic Electrical Awareness electrical safety awareness course is a great way to ensure employees understand how to safety work with electricity.

A safe workplace is crucial and ensuring that you have the right safety procedures and policies for things such as electrical safety. Since Advanced Consulting and Training Ltd.’s founding, their diverse team of certified health and safety professionals have taken great pride in their ability to deliver prompt, cost-effective and relevant workplace health and safety solutions. As a CPO approved, TSSA accredited, and WSIB approved provider, we look forward to discussing how ACT can help with your company’s safety requirements. Contact us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Workplace safety is something that every business and company should make a priority – especially when working with electrical equipment. The voltage of electricity from most electrical components and tools in a workplace has the power capacity to severely injure and even kill a person. Electrocutions are ranked as the 4th most common cause of deaths in the workplace, they are responsible for a large majority of disabling injuries, and can cost a business millions of dollars in medical costs related to serious burns and electrocutions. It’s strongly recommended that each workplace has annual safety training and electricity specific safety training as well.

Working with electricity presents a wide variety of potential hazards. The main types of injuries from working with electricity include:

  • Electric Shock
  • Thermal Burns
  • Fatal Electrocution
  • Falls

Direct contact with exposed electrical currents can cause severe injuries and can even result in death. Take every possible precaution when working with electrical equipment and make sure to stay up to date with your electrical safety training.

  • Regular Inspections of Electrical Cords & Plugs
  • When Unplugging Equipment, Pull by the Plug, Not the Cord
  • Avoid Overloading Outlets
  • Have a Fire Extinguisher On-Hand
  • Cords Are Kept Away from Heat, Oil, & Sharp Edges
  • Make Sure That Electrical Systems are Grounded
  • Proper Equipment & Training is Mandatory

Contact our team of health and safety professionals to learn more about what a comprehensive electrical safety checklist should include.

Providing electrical safety training to all employees is an effective way to minimize the risk of any electrical injuries and emergencies. Electrical safety training covers all the basic information about the hazards of electricity, how to work with it, what equipment is required, and more. It’s recommended that you offer all employees of your company annual electrical safety training and also provide a refresher course on a regular basis. This is especially true if there is new equipment or any other type of major changes to the facility.

The amount of voltage that it takes to kill a person varies based on a variety of different factors. How long you are shocked for, the bodily location of the shock, and the health of individual all play a role in determining if the electric shock would be lethal or not. As a general rule of thumb, if a person gets shocked with a voltage of 2,700 volts or higher, an individual will typically experience severe injuries or die.

Most if not all modern business facilities use electricity to power tools, equipment, and machinery that they rely on for their day-to-day operations. Safely operating that electrical equipment is imperative for the efficiency of a business. Some electrical safety equipment that all businesses should have on hand include:

  • Insulated Gloves, Mats, & Ladders
  • Voltage Detectors
  • First-Aid Kids
  • Earthing & Short Circuit Kits
  • Rescue Hooks & Operating Rods
  • Protective Eyewear
  • Safety Signs

An electrical safety audit identifies any and all potential electrical safety hazards. An electrical safety audit is important to ensure that your facility is in compliance with electrical code, safety practices, and to make sure that your equipment is functioning effectively, efficiently, and is up to date. Contact us to learn more about electrical safety audits!