Keeping the workplace safe from electrical hazards is the responsibility of everyone who is in the facility. Whether it is a manufacturing facility, a laboratory, an office, or some other environment, electricity is both very useful and very dangerous. This is why companies work to ensure they are compliant for electrical safety. Understanding what this means is very important for not only ensuring everyone is kept safe in the workplace, but also for avoiding violations and other problems.
OSHA has a variety of regulatory requirements that companies must follow in order to avoid fines and other penalties. For example, OSHA requires that a trained and certified electrician performs many types of electrical work. This means you can’t just ask someone who isn’t a professional electrician to perform this type of work, even if they claim that they know what they are doing. This type of rule is in place not only to protect the untrained employee from potentially getting hurt, but also for keeping the entire facility safe by ensuring all electrical work done is up to the proper specifications.
NFPA is another group that puts out a variety of standards that companies should follow. While the NFPA doesn’t have any legal power to enforce their standards, they are widely seen as the leaders in workplace safety for things including electrical safety. Keeping up with their standards will provide an excellent baseline for ensuring everyone in the facility knows how to avoid electrical hazards.
Types of Compliance Requirements
There are hundreds of different compliance requirements that come from a variety of different agencies and organizations. Many of them are tailored to specific industries or specific situations, so it isn’t always necessary for every company to be familiar with every possible compliance requirement. Some general examples of what types of things are regulated for compliance include:
- Wire length – The length an electrical wire can be based on how much current it will use and other factors.
- Types of wiring – You must use the right materials in electrical equipment in order to ensure safety.
- Quality of materials – Anytime electrical equipment is damaged, it needs to be repaired or replaced to remain in compliance.
- Who can do work – As mentioned above, many types of electrical work must be done by a licensed electrician.
Learning about the specific requirements in your industry for electrical work is very important. Due to the fact that electrical standards do change over time, it is also important to make an effort to stay up to date with the latest standards and compliance requirements.
- What are electrical safety standards and who enforces them?
- What electrical safety training should I provide?
- How should electrical panels or conduits be marked?
- How does electrical shock occur and how can it be prevented?
- What are the basics of electrical safety?
- How do electrical fires start and how can they be prevented?