Common Electrical Safety Hazards in the Workplace

No matter what industry you’re in, keeping your employees safe is a must especially if you want your business to prosper, today and in the future. While there are so many various types of hazards, electrical hazards pose one of the most dangerous risks in any workplace.

An electrical hazard can be any cable, device or are in your workplace that’s at risk of causing injury, shock, or worse, death because of an electrical current. This can be caused by contact with exposed wires, fire, or explosion where electricity is the source of the ignition. While you can say that all your employees know about electrical hazards and they are all safe on the job, the truth is that you can’t always guarantee that. An electrical hazard only takes a second to become deadly. That’s why you must act quickly to remove all the electrical hazards in your workplace. 

To help you be prepared, we prepared a list of the most common electrical hazards that are faced in the workplace and how you can avoid them before someone gets hurt or your business becomes affected.

Damaged Equipment and Tools

No business would use equipment that are outdated and not have them regularly inspected. Unfortunately, sometimes unexpected things happen, inspections might go wrong, and equipment are sometimes still used even when they are past their prime.

Using any type of tool or piece of damaged equipment can be quite dangerous especially when wires, cables, or cords are cut, cracked, or falling apart. Avoid wrapping electrical tape around these items to make them last longer if you can replace them completely or have a professional electrician fix them for you. 

Read article about cable insulation testing 

Overloaded Circuits

Are you someone who likes to have more than two items plugged into one outlet? We all know that it is common to plug in extension cords. However, all the extra cords can cause the circuit to become overloaded and it can possibly cause a fire. 

To avoid overloaded circuits, make sure that all of your wirings are always up to date. Even an underloaded circuit can be problematic if you have wiring that is not up to code. Take note that overheating can occur quickly and can easily start a fire. 

Read article about choosing cable sizing and how much load they can take.

Wet Conditions

Almost all electrical wiring can be found everywhere to provide power. However, it doesn’t mean that you should tamper with them in areas where it is wet. If you notice water nearby and you need to plug something in, don’t touch anything, just walk away, and alert the people about the dangerous situation. You risk getting electrocuted if you do continue to plug the item in. also, do not try to use any type of equipment once it gets wet because it might also cause your electrocution.

Exposed Electrical Parts 

Over the years, there are quite a few electrical parts that can become exposed. However, the most common ones that get exposed include detached insulation on cords, distribution units, or temporary lighting. Getting burned or shocked becomes an even greater risk when you leave these items exposed. 

If you notice any exposed electrical parts, make sure that you have them repaired immediately. Moreover, it is better to keep your electrical parts hidden behind drywall access panels. These panels don’t only provide easy access to your electrical wiring and parts but also protect them from getting wet or exposed to outside elements. Failure to keep your exposed electrical parts would be very reckless. If you cannot repair them right away, you must stop using those items until an electrician repairs or replaces the same.

Damaged Insulation

Even your insulation can also become damaged over time or might just simply stop working. What you should do is turn off all the power in the area where you can find the damaged insulation, in order to avoid an accident before it can be replaced. Avoid covering the damaged insulation with electrical tape. That tape won’t keep the electricity from flowing through and it might just burn and cause a fire. 

Improper Grounding

Grounding all your electrical property is always imperative, whether you are running your business or just keeping your house safe. This is the only way of reducing the risk of unwanted voltage and preventing people from getting electrocuted. So many people think that the metallic ground pin isn’t necessary so they remove the same. Unfortunately, it is the only thing keeping all the extra voltage that goes toward the grounds. 

Read detailed article about ground the equipment

Power Lines 

Power lines can be encountered if working outside. We recommend that you and your employees stay at least ten feet from these power lines and keep all of your equipment away. Anyone may get electrocuted or acquire massive burns even just by simply knocking into these power lines. 

Moreover, avoid storing items underneath power lines. This can be just as dangerous if the power lines spark. The items underneath might also catch fire that will spread to the rest of the job site. 

Final Thoughts 

Now that you already know the most common electrical hazards in workplaces, you can just easily walk around your workplace when you are already able to take the proper precautions. Having a few safety meetings with your employees is also highly-recommended in order to give them the knowledge that they need to stay safe during working hours. Know your limits and apply the best electrical safety practices to help reduce the risk of electricity-related cases. If you are not confident enough to do the job, never hesitate to call for help from professional personnel.

You may also want to use a checklist instead of just relying on your memory when it comes to applying electrical safety practices in your workplace. You can even include your employees and give them the task of check electrical hazards every single day. 

Lastly, do not delay when it comes to electrical hazards and how to avoid them. You never know when one very small electrical shock can lead to a permanent injury and, in worst-case scenarios, even death.

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