Dangerous electrical hazards are present whether you work in a small office or a large construction site. When it comes to avoiding arc flashes and preventing electrical related injuries, you must first take a thorough assessment of the workplace.
Below is an example of a basic electrical safety checklist that can be followed to eliminate electrical hazards in the workplace.
- Ensure all power strips are not overloaded and are placed in well-ventilated areas.
- Extension cords and equipment cables should be organized so as to not cause damage to the cord insulation, or present a tripping hazard.
- Avoid attaching ungrounded, two-prong adapter plugs into three prong cords or tools.
- The space in front of an electrical panel must be kept clear—a minimum area of 36-inches by 36-inches.
- Employees working on high-voltage systems are given comprehensive arc flash training and provided with the appropriate personal protection equipment.
- Compliant arc flash labels are affixed to high-voltage electrical equipment.
- Insulated PPE and tools are properly stored, electrically tested, and regularly checked for damage.
- An emergency response plan is in place for electrical injuries or accidents.
- Power tool cords are kept away from heat, oil, and sharp edges, as well as the cutting surfaces of power saws or drills.
- Check to see if all power supply systems and all electrical circuits are grounded.
- If working on a construction site, assess overhead power lines to determine if they are de-energized, guarded, or insulated.
- Replace any frayed, twisted, cracked, or damaged cords.
Conducting a detailed evaluation of electrical equipment and potential hazards is the first step to protecting employees from electrical shock, burns, and fires. This list is by no means exhaustive or complete. Different job sites and different industries will present new hazards and of varying levels of risk. To best keep your workplace safe, consult with a qualified electrician, review NFPA regulations for safe work practices, and check out our resource center for more electrical safety tips.
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