Thursday, January 13, 2011

Electrical Safety Training - Work Practices

Electrical safety training is paramount to a safe and productive workplace. Because electricity is a part of every aspect of a workplace it is imperative that everyone in that workplace understands its safety and use. Just a single electrical accident can be catastrophic. OSHA has made the training mandatory and divides it into three categories - hazard recognition, proper work practices and hazards specific to different work environments.

Work practices start with understanding the most common electrical dangers - shocks, burns and fires - and how to avoid them. Here are some of the major reasons for these dangers and how to avoid them.

Faulty wiring causes many electrical accidents. Never pick up a tool by its power cord. It will damage the wire by pulling it away from the tool causing cracks and other defects. Any damages in the cord should be addressed immediately by putting the tool out of service and scheduled for repair.

Never run too many pieces of equipment on the same circuit. This causes overheating and increases the risk of fire.

Extension cords are designed for temporary use only and NEVER should be used as a permanent solution. Make sure you always check the extension cord for its rating.

3-pronged cords should never be fitted into 2-pronged outlets. This keeps the grounding wire from operating and makes you vulnerable to stray electricity.

Using "double insulated" tools will provide you extra protection when working with electricity. These types of tools should be mandatory in the workplace as they conduct electricity away from you increasing worker safety exponentially.

If there is any suspicion of a tool or piece of equipment not operating properly it should be reported immediately to your supervisor who can arrange for it to be locked and tagged.Lock-Out Tag-Out is an important component of electrical safety and should be trained accordingly.

Using the proper lighting is another important part of electrical safety. If you can't see what you are doing it's much easier to make a mistake and get hurt.

Avoid wearing metal jewelry, chains or any other metal objects as they can conduct electricity. All of these objects should be removed before beginning work.

All equipment should be kept in good working order and free of any debris and grease. This will help with overheating and prevent fires. When cleaning equipment avoid using liquids and metal cleaning equipment as they can conduct electricity.

Using the proper personal protective equipment is also imperative. Insulated hard hats and gloves can be the difference between life and death.

Work practices are the second category of training that OSHA requires and an integral part of electrical safety training. Make sure that your organization is up-to-date on electrical safety training. It might just save a life.

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