Are You Qualified for Electrical Safety?
Electricity is an integral part
of our lives both at home and in the workplace. In 1994, the
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 346 deaths were attributed
to contact with electric current. Using safe work practices
while working on or near de-energized electrical parts can
decrease your chances of being injured from electricity.
Workers who work on or near de-energized
electrical parts require training on how equipment is de-energized
and locked/tagged out, how to safely work on or near de-energized
parts, and what safeguards to use.
Electrical currents travel in closed
circuits through conducting materials. You can receive a shock
when a part of your body becomes part of an electric circuit.
An electric current enters the body at one point and exits
at another. High-voltage shocks can cause serious injury or
sometimes even death.
You will get a shock if you touch:
· Both wires of an electric circuit.
· One wire of an energized circuit and the ground.
· Part of a machine which is "hot" because it is
contacting an energized wire and the ground.
The effects of an electric shock
on the body can range from a tingle where the body touches
the circuit to immediate cardiac arrest. A severe shock can
cause more damage than what can be seen.
The following rules apply to all
Ensure your electrical equipment
is maintained properly. Regularly inspect tools, cords, grounds,
and accessories. Repair only if you are authorized to do so.
Otherwise, arrange to have problem equipment repaired or replaced
· Ensure you use safety features like three-pronged plugs,
double-insulated tools, and safety switches. Ensure machine
guards are in place and that lockout/tagout procedures are
· Install or repair equipment only if you're qualified and
authorized to do so.
· Keep electric cables and cords clean and free from kinks.
Never carry equipment by the cord.
· Avoid touching water, damp surfaces, ungrounded metal, or
any bare wires if you are not protected. Wear approved rubber
gloves when working with live wires or ungrounded surfaces.
Rubber-soled shoes or boots should be worn when working on
damp or wet surfaces.
· Avoid wearing jewelry or metal objects (ring, watches, etc.)
when working with electricity.
Good work habits soon become
second nature. Don't take chances with electricity. One mistake
could cost you your life.