The best way to keep people safe from electrical hazards in the workplace is by implementing policies and procedures that reduce or eliminate various risks. Unfortunately, it is impossible to take steps that can be 100% effective, and if there is even one incident it can be deadly. With this in mind, it is important that anyone working with or around dangerous electrical equipment use personal protection equipment to keep them safe in the event of an accident. The following are among the most frequently used types of PPE, and how they can keep your workplace safer.
- Insulated Gloves – Insulated gloves will prevent electricity from traveling into your hands should there be an exposed wire, short circuit, or other issue.
- Insulated Matting – Insulated matting will put a protective layer between the employee and the floor. This is helpful when working at switchboards, transformers, and other high-voltage areas. It can help prevent electricity from traveling up from the floor into the person’s body, as well as eliminating a path for electricity to travel through the body and out to the floor.
- Insulated Ladders – Insulated ladders won’t transmit electricity into the person who is using it. If a normal metal ladder accidentally touches a live electrical wire, it can be devastating. With the insulated ladder, this isn’t an electrical concern.
- Rescue Rods – In the event that someone is being electrocuted, people will be tempted to rush in to save them. Unfortunately, this will only lead to them becoming electrocuted as well. Having a rescue rod present will allow those in the areas to pull the victim to safety, or push the source of the electricity away.
- Voltage Detectors – Even after a power source has been removed, there can still be electricity in a system because of capacitors. A voltage detector will show the level of electricity in a given system at the current time, so employees won’t mistakenly begin working on a system until all power has been eliminated.
Options for PPE
Each piece of personal protection equipment will be rated for different levels of electrical current. The more powerful the electricity, the more insulated or protected the equipment needs to be to keep employees safe. Wearing the wrong PPE can be just as dangerous, or even more so, than wearing no PPE because it can give a false sense of safety. Make sure you have the proper equipment for a given environment to get the best possible results.
- What are supplies I should have on hand to prevent or respond to electrical hazards?
- How does electrical shock occur and how can it be prevented?
- How do electrical fires start and how can they be prevented?
- What are the basics of electrical safety?
- What are common hazards when working with electricity?
- What are electrical safety measures?
- What are electrical safety risks at a construction site?