Electricity is no laughing matter - it's a strong force that can wreak havoc if dealt with incorrectly. Electrical work should only be handled by those who are qualified and have therefore received the proper training. On the other hand, whilst electrical work should be done only by professionals, there are very simple and straightforward precautions anyone can take to avoid accidents. And though these precautions may seem simple, they're often forgotten. So what can we do? Here's how to make sure your workplace is free from electrical hazards: the right precautions to take.
The danger is real
You don't need to be told how dangerous electricity can be, but it's still underestimated by many. The danger is real. In fact, there are more dangers than you might think. Here's a small list:
- Electric shock or electrocution, caused by physical contact with live parts
- Physical or material damage due to arcing or fire due to faulty electrical equipment or installation
- Other physical injury, such as falling from ladders or platforms due to sparks or sudden arcing
A risk assessment can only be made by professionals - but it must be collaborated by employers and supervisors who understand which area the electrical equipment is in and who can come in contact with it. Here are some important questions to ask during the risk assessment:
- What, if any, is the potential problem and hazard?
- Who could be harmed by it?
- What precautions can be taken?
- What is the equipment's purpose and how should it be used?
Regular inspections are an absolute must; a piece of equipment may be working perfectly today, but there's no guarantee it will still do so tomorrow or next week. As far as it is practical, regular inspection and maintenance should happen as often as possible.
- Make sure all employees know how to use the equipment safely
- Teach employees to be careful with cables and wires
- Have employees undergo the proper first aid training in case of emergency
- Have enough sockets to avoid overloading
- Switch off equipment and unplug it when it is not in use
The key word here is prevention: if something seems unsafe or if a recent incident has occurred, it's your responsibility to report it immediately and to tell everyone else to stay away until a qualified person has been able to inspect and resolve the problem. If it is safe to do so, any potential hazard should be turned off immediately - though it's always better not to take risks and get the correct people involved, as www.firstresponsetraining.com (first aid and health and safety specialists) attest. Electricity is simply too dangerous to be taken lightly, and it's always better to be safe than sorry.