Electrical Safety

Bruce Burk

Tampa, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – Among the worst possible types of industrial accidents which can occur are electrical accidents. Workers can often either be killed or permanently disabled from severe electrical shock which can severely damage the human body. Employers need to observe proper electrical safety to prevent electric shock while on the job.

As a bit of background, it is the current of an electrical shock which proves fatal to the human body as to opposed to the voltage. Current, which is measured in amps, refers to the rate that charges cross a conductor, while voltage refers to differences in the amount of charges between two objects. A current of over 10 milliamps is capable of severe electric shock while currents between 100 to 200 milliamps can be lethal.

OSHA has put out a set of guidelines for electrical safety in the workplace.

  • Assume overhead wires are turned on at lethal voltages. One should never assume that a wire is safe to touch even if it appears to be insulated. Moreover, one should don’t touch a fallen overhead power line. Employers and workers alike should call the proper government regulators or utility companies to deal with fallen wires.
  • Workers should stay a good distance away from downed wires. Work sites should be surveyed and inspected prior to beginning work to check for downed or live electrical wires. If up on ladders or cranes, workers should be good distances away from any power lines.
  • If a vehicle gets hit with a live wire the driver should continue to drive away from it while remaining in the car. If the engine stops, the driver should not leave the vehicle and instead call 911. The car could have electricity running through it that could harm theperson.
  • One should never use electrical equipment while standing in water, which is a good conductor of electricity. This is why many shoes worn by electrical workers are rubber on the bottom to prevent the human body from being used as a conductor.
  • Repair of electrical cords should be done by trained professionals, who have the proper equipment and training to make sure that electricity is now flowing through damaged wires so that they can be properly repaired.
  • Likewise, if electrical equipment has gotten wet, it should be inspected by an electrician. Water, because it is a conductor, can create unwanted electrical bonds in the equipment that can cause it to short circuit or re-direct electrical currents where it does not belong.
  • Lastly, if work is being done in damp locations, inspections should be conducted of any electrical equipment prior to and after use to make sure they are free of problems. A ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) should also be used. This devise breaks an electrical current to prevent electric shock.

The most significant electric shocks can occur from lightning strikes, which kill an average of 47 people per year. To present lightning strikes, cancel work projects and do not go outside during thunder storms.

News brought to you by WorkersCompensation.com