Five Electrical Safety Tips For The Workplace
FRUSTRATED with your workplace’s attention to occupational health and safety?
Well in reality, you are one of the lucky ones. Because when it comes to your health, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Between 2003 and 2015 there were 142 workers killed as a result of coming into contact with electricity, which equates to an average of 11 workers per year. Of these death 87 per cent – or 9 out of 10 people – occurred when installing electrical equipment, and half of these happened within the construction industry.
As such, there is clearly still a long way to go in the workplace to ensure that workers are safe and are protected from electrical faults and accidents. Although the rules and regulations surrounding electrical safety do differ slightly depending on the industry, there are many generalised expectations and safety precautions every workplace should follow:
- Regular testing and date tagging of electrical equipment, by a licensed professional in intervals of anywhere between three months to a year depending on the industry.
- Personal protective equipment is required on site to minimise the risk of electrical incidents. These can include insulated tools that are especially important for areas where there are potential electrical hazards. On this note, it is recommended that non- conductive tools are used where possible in areas that there is increased danger.
- Although it is not a physical tool as such, risk and hazard assessments are vital in ensuring your safety in the workplace. Although these forms can be tedious, it is vital that they are comprehensive and consider potential electrical issues. Being aware of the risks in advance is a sure-fast method of minimising workplace injuries.
- Minimise the use of extension cords, double adaptors and ensure that they are used correctly. When working outside, extension cords should be kept out of the direct sunlight and away from any sharp edges. If the exterior of the cord is compromised then this could lead to a dangerous situation where people are potentially shocked.
- Use safety switches! Safety switches are preventative devices which switches off the supply of electricity when an abnormality is detected. When looking into portable power boards specifically, it is important to use one that has an in-built RCD, weather proofing and multiple outlets.