Workplace electrical risks have been drastically increasing today, but there are several preventive measures that companies can do to prevent these mishaps.
Ensuring the electrical safety should be the priority in a workplace, especially in the places where the workers such as power line staff, electricians, electronic technicians, and engineers work with electricity directly. It has become an integral part of our daily and professional life that we don’t recognize the hazards it poses and overlook the risks.
The Risks of Electrical Hazards
Electricity is a serious workplace danger that causes fires, explosions, burns, shock, and electrocution. The data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that many people die at work because of electrical accidents, which could have been easily avoided. Electric shocks can create just a tingling sensation if you are lucky but exposure to a high-voltage current can cause immediate cardiac arrest. Shock-related injuries also include severe burning, contraction of muscles or ‘freezing,’ and involuntary muscle reactions. All these conditions can cause serious health problems and can even lead to death, if not treated immediately.
Workplace Electrical Risks – Safety Measures
Most electricity-related mishaps happen because of incorrect installation of equipment, unsafe environment, and standard work practice negligence. It’s possible to avoid tragedies if the workplaces employ these procedures:
Use Insulation for Metal Elements and Conductors
Some materials such as rubber, plastic, mica, and glass work as insulators. These prevent short circuits, fires, and shock by reducing the current flow in conductors and exposed parts of electronics. The insulators must be rated for the voltage used and environmental factors such as temperature, moisture, presence of corrosive ingredients, and more.
Install Circuit Protection Devices
They protect an electrical wiring system, conductors, and electrical equipment at the time of overload, short circuit, or a ground fault. These prevent accidents by automatically stopping the flow of current. Some examples of these devices are circuit breakers, fuses, and arc-fault circuit interrupters.
Guard the Electric Equipment
Another effective way of providing electrical safety is to keep electrical machinery with exposed parts carrying 50 volts or more in a separate location such as a room or a vault so that only authorized personnel can have access. These sites must have signs at the entrances to warn people about the danger.
Grounding the Electronics and Electrical Systems
Grounding prevents the buildup of voltages that could cause an accident. It creates a low-resistance path that connects the tools or a system to the earth. It does not give foolproof protection against electric shock but reduces the severity considerably. The primary goal of such a preventive measure is to protect electronics and insulation against damage caused by the excessive flow of electricity.
What You Should Do to Avoid Workplace Electrical Risks
It will be wise to follow the above-mentioned electrical safety measures and federal standards while installing electrical equipment in a workshop or industrial facility. You should also implement proper regulations so that your workers employ appropriate protective tools and work with caution near energized lines and machines.