Every year, on-the-job electrical accidents cause over 300 deaths and 4,000 injuries. That works out to one electrical injury every 30 minutes during an average work week. The most common causes of electric shocks or burns are contact with faulty machines, appliances or light fixtures (38%) and contact with exposed wiring, transformers, or other electrical components (33%). A majority of these injuries can be avoided by following a few simple steps.
- Do not attempt any type of electrical work unless you are trained and authorized to do so. If you don’t know the dangers, you don’t know how to avoid them.
- Before working with electrical hazards, make sure all machines are turned off or unplugged. It might also be necessary to shut off load circuits before work can safely begin.
- Do not assume that the equipment to be worked on is de-energized. Test before you touch.
- Always use OSHA-approved Lockout/Tagout devices and procedures to prevent unexpected start-up.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) rated for electrical work, such as Arc Flash Gloves and Faceshields should be worn at all times.
- Insulated Tools should be used when working on live equipment.
Safe work practices can prevent accidents, protect workers, and save money. It is extremely important for managers to take an active role in safety, as this sets a good example for the rest of the workers. Make safety your number one concern. Stop electrical accidents before they stop you!