Electrical Safety: 14 Essential Tips to Prevent Workplace Accidents
14 Essential Tips to Prevent Workplace Accidents
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) about 76,000 office workers nationwide have disabling injuries every year. Although the most frequent types of incidents are falls (either from height, tripping or slippery surfaces), many injuries also occur as the result of contact with electrical equipment or appliances.
Almost everything in an office setting today operates on electricity. Electrical equipment used in an office, is potentially hazardous and can cause serious shock and burn injuries if improperly used or maintained. If a part of the body comes in contact with the electrical circuit, a shock will occur. The current will enter the body at one point and leave at another and this passage of electricity, can cause great pain, burns, and even death.
To protect your workers, you should properly educate them and ensure that your office is safe and free from electrical hazards.
Below are 14 essential tips to prevent electrical accidents in your workplace.
1) Use only equipment that is properly grounded or double-insulated.
2) Do not overload outlets.
3) Do not plug multi-outlet bars to other multi-outlet bars.
4) Only use equipment that has been approved by a national testing laboratory For a full list of approved labs click here.
5) Minimize the use of extension cords. Do not plug two extension cords together.
6) Do not cover power cords or extension cords with rugs or mats, as this can cause issues with the wires or create potential tripping hazards.
7) Do not run electrical cords through pedestrian aisles, as this creates tripping hazards.
8) Unplug or disconnect machines before servicing or repairing, and check to make sure the machine is actually disconnected and turned off prior to service.
9) Do not ignore warning signs. If an item feels hot, makes an unusual noise (buzz or hum), smokes or sparks, take it out of service immediately and tag it "Do Not Use".
10) Inspect cords and equipment regularly, and report any defects immediately.
11) Cover or guard any exposed electrical components or wires, and make sure employees are aware of any hazards.
12) Unplug cords from the outlet by gripping the plug. Do not just pull the cord from a distance.
13) Do not use electrical equipment or appliances near water or wet surfaces.
14) Never use electrical equipment when your hands or the equipment is wet.
As with all workplaces, protecting employees by eliminating or controlling hazards should be everyone's goal, employer and employee alike. A good first step is to conduct a safety assessment of your workplace. Having a professional walk through your facility, can help identify hidden hazards, and create a plan to correct those issues.