Educate Employees About Electricity-Related Hazards

When it comes to electricity, be sure your workers are aware of the hazards and that you work together to minimize them. The most common causes of electricity-related injuries are electrocution, electric shock, burns and falls (related to shocks). Go beyond talking to your employees about these potential risks. Remind them that the human body is an efficient conductor of electricity, which is why contact can be so deadly. 

Moisture Increases the Risk 

If a worker’s job involves standing water, wet clothing, high humidity or even perspiration, the risk of electricity-related injury is magnified. Regardless of its form, water and other sources of moisture break down the skin’s resistance, making electrical injuries much more likely and far more serious. 

Picking up an energized object can cause an individual’s muscles to contract, making it impossible for him or her to release the object until the energy stops flowing. 

  • Are all disconnecting switches and circuit breakers labeled to indicate their use or the equipment served?
  • Are disconnecting means always opened before fuses are replaced?
  • Do all interior wiring systems include provisions for grounding metal parts of electrical raceways, equipment and enclosures?
  • Are approved cabinets or enclosures used to guard against contact with energized circuit and equipment parts? 
  • Is sufficient working space maintained around all electrical equipment to permit safe operations? 

Finally, suppose an employee is working on a ladder and experiences an electric shock. This kind of jolt is more than enough to send the worker tumbling down the ladder, ultimately suffering injuries not only from the shock, but also from the fall. 

Five Ways to Keep Employees Safe 

  1. Implement safe work practices, and make sure they are followed. 
  2. Provide the required personal protective equipment, and make sure workers use it. 
  3. Implement lockout/tagout procedures, and make sure they are followed. 
  4. Comply with existing OSHA, National Electric Code and/or National Electric Safety Code regulations. 
  5. Train workers in electrical safety. 

None of these strategies can work alone. Put them all in place, and you will increase the odds of your workers avoiding electricity-related accidents and injuries.