Electricity is required for just about all types of activities in most manufacturing and other facilities. For the last century, electricity has been a crucial part of just about everyone’s day to day life both at home and in the workplace. While electricity has improved the world in many ways, it is still important to remember that it can be very dangerous. If you’re not careful when working on or around electricity of any sort, it can be very dangerous and even deadly in an instant. This brief introduction to the basics of electrical safety is a good place to start for anyone in just about any type of work environment.
Dangers of Electricity
When thinking about the dangers of electricity most people only think about electrocution. While this is certainly one of the most significant ways that one can be injured from electricity, it is certainly not the only risk. Electricity can also cause severe burns even if it never comes in direct contact with your skin. Electrical fires are another major risk that is present when working with or around electrical equipment. Explosions can also occur, which can send debris and other items flying through the air, resulting in serious injuries.
Wear the Proper Gear
One of the most important things you can do to keep yourself and others in the area safe when working on electrical systems is to use the proper personal protection equipment. There are many types of PPE that are designed specifically to keep you safe from electrical hazards. Choosing the gear based on the specific type of electrical system you will be working on can help to minimize the risk of shock, burn, or other hazards.
Always Use Lockout Tagout
Anytime someone is going to be working on a high-voltage system it is critical that the lockout tagout system is enacted. Using this strategy helps to guarantee that the electricity is cut off from a machine before it is worked on, and that it won’t be reenabled while the electrician is still doing their work. This system has the actual technician doing the work remove the power source of the machine and place a lock on it so that it can’t be restored. That technician will carry the key with them so that nobody can restore power without the technician.
Never Take Risks
It is often tempting to take shortcuts to try to get things done more efficiently. When working with electricity, however, even a small shortcut can result in near instant injuries and death. Every facility should have a set of procedures and best practices for working on any type of electrical system. Making sure everyone follows those standards at all times will help to dramatically reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities related to electricity.
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