Shocking Safety – Prevent Electrical Injuries

Every workplace today operates on electricity, so workplace electrical injuries are a real threat in any location. All electrical systems used in offices have the potential to cause serious harm, especially if improperly used or maintained.

Humans are good conductors of electricity. This means if the open electric circuit comes in contact with our body, we’ll get a shock. The electric current will pass through our body from one point to another causing great pain, burns, or damage to the tissues, nerves, and muscles. This could even lead to death.

Let’s review how to avoid electrical injuries in the workplace.

Types of Workplace Electrical Injuries

The four types of injuries that can occur due to electricity are:

  • Electric shock
  • Burns
  • Falls
  • Electrocution

Common Electrical Hazards

Most injuries are a result of the following:

  • Poorly installed, faulty, and/or ill-maintained electrical equipment
  • Faulty wiring
  • Overloaded or overheated outlets
  • Use of flexible leads and extension cables
  • Incorrect use of replacement fuses
  • Use of electrical equipment with wet hands or near the source of water

Tips to Prevent Workplace Electrical Incidents

  • Unplug or switch off electrical appliances when not in use or while cleaning, repairing, or servicing
  • Don’t force a plug into an outlet if it doesn’t fit
  • Refrain from running electrical cords across doorways, under the carpets, or in areas where there is regular activity
  • Maintain a clearance of at least 3 feet from all electrical panels
  • Only use equipment that is double-insulated and properly grounded
  • Don’t overload outlets
  • Ensure that two extension cords are not plugged together
  • Regularly check for defects in cords and equipment and report defects immediately
  • Place a cover or guard on exposed electrical components or wires
  • While unplugging, grip the plug and pull, don’t pull the cord from a distance
  • Do not use electrical equipment or appliances with wet hands or near water and wet surfaces

Fortunately, most of the electrical hazards can be easily prevented and controlled with a little caution and regular checks.