“Improper use of electrical equipment can create overheated equipment, which can lead to fires, shock and electrocution,” warns IDOL, which provides some do’s and don’ts regarding certain electrical equipment.
May is National Electrical Safety Month, and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is launching its annual effort to help reduce electrically-related fatalities, injuries, and property loss. This year’s campaign theme is “Connected to Safety,” which educates consumers on the emerging technology that ensures their homes are prepared to keep up with today’s energy demands.
A new safety campaign from the National Fire Protection Association tells the stories of people who were injured in electrical incidents both on the job and at home.
Each year ESFI compiles yearly workplace electrical injury statistics based on data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) and Survey of Occupational Injuries (SOII) to distill information specifically pertaining to fatal and nonfatal occupational electrical injuries. The most recent data covers the 26 years from 1992-2019 but mainly focuses on 2003-2019 data.
Today, any office or workplace setting operates on electricity. Electrical equipment, from computers to machinery can all be potentially hazardous and can cause shock and burn injuries if improperly used or maintained. Though most general personnel don’t need specialized electrical safety training, if you work around electricity, but are not qualified to directly handle electrical components, it’s important to follow electrical safety-related work practices to keep yourself and others safe.
President Joe Biden on Jan. 21 signed an Executive Order directing OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration to consider emergency temporary standards related to COVID-19, among other steps. If those emergency temporary standards are considered necessary, the Executive Order, titled Protecting Worker Health and Safety, calls on the agencies to issue them by March 15.
Portable generators can be found in many workplaces. Among the risks users face, according to OSHA, are shocks and electrocution from improper use of power or unintentionally energizing other electrical systems, and fires from improperly refueling the generator or not storing fuel correctly.
“We all work around electricity, but we may or may not have strong familiarity with the actual hazards of electricity,” said Hugh Hoagland, senior partner and co-founder of e-Hazard, an electrical safety training provider. “We get used to it. You don’t think about the actual hazard every time you do an electrical task, some of which are basically inane if nothing goes wrong. But they can be catastrophic if something goes wrong.”
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) recently published NEMA GD 4-2020 COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidance for Electrical Equipment. Since managing the COVID-19 virus requires proper cleaning and disinfecting of equipment..
Updated NFPA guidelines mean facilities must reevaluate how they perform thermal imaging tests. A new era has arrived for electrical equipment maintenance, and worker safety is predominant. The days of suiting up in personal protective equipment (PPE) and hoping for the best are over.
Whether you’re a company CEO, a higher-up, or the owner of a commercial building, keeping your establishment a safe place for everyone will increase their productivity and give you peace of mind as well.
Every organization should create an electrical safety program that not only mitigates the hazards, but also provides the recommended best practices for working on and around electrical hazards.
“You can’t smell it. You can’t taste it, can’t see it,” said Brett Brenner, president of the Electrical Safety Foundation International. “And typically you don’t really even have to go within 10 feet of it for it to really negatively impact you.”
Commercial buildings require special considerations when it comes to electrical wiring. Most commercial buildings do not have the luxury of a wooden frame to run wires through, so other wiring methods must be used.
Arc-resistant equipment such as medium-voltage control centers can help protect workers from dangerous arc flashes. Unfortunately, many users of this type of equipment compromise its protection capabilities because of a crucial problem: improper or incomplete installation.