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The voltage of the electricity and available electrical current in the average business or home has enough power to cause death by electrocution. In fact, simply changing a lightbulb without unplugging a lamp could cause of a shock to kill a person.
These hazards are especially prominent for workers who are working with electricity and around electrical work every day. Out of 4,386 worker fatalities in private industry in 2014, 899, or 20.5%, of them were in the construction industry. The second leading cause of worker deaths on construction sites was electrocution.
A basic knowledge of how to avoid an electric shock, and electrocution, is important for workers at all professions. For those who work closely with electricity, a more in-depth education on the matter is needed. From the proper way to handle and use their tools, to the PPE they are required to wear to protect themselves.
Workers, even highly trained ones, are killed every year as a result of electrical hazards and failures to comply with proper safety regulations.
Don't Take Shortcuts
The only people who should be working on energized electrical equipment are those who are fully trained and qualified, properly equipped and authorized to do so. For the rest of us, we need a basic understanding of how electricity works and how to avoid electric shock.
6 Typical Electrical Hazards in the Workplace
Electrical shock is a leading cause of workplace fatalities and almost every day approximately one electrocution, 10 disabling injuries and 100 electrical shocks are reported.
How Electricity Works
To be aware of electrical hazards, you have to understand a little of how electricity works. Electricity is always trying to find its way to the ground. When electricity flows, it takes the path of least resistance. It may encounter a material which resists electricity, known as an insulator. Examples of insulating materials are rubber, glass and some plastics.
How to Avoid Workplace Electrocution
Many victims of workplace electrocution are the people who maintain electrical equipment.
Here are some reminders for staying safe while making this equipment safe.
Avoid Getting the Shock of Your Life
Look around you. In today’s offices there are photocopiers, fax machines, computers, printers, light switches, outlets, extension cords, water coolers and coffee pots. It’s hard to think of any job which doesn’t require the use of electricity. When it comes right down to it, we must avoid electrical hazards in almost any work setting.
Electrical shock occurs when electricity takes a short-cut through your body. It can cause severe burns. It can stop your breathing. It can affect your brain, nerves, heart and other organs. And it can be fatal.
Respect Power Lines
Thousands of injuries and fatalities occur every year because of contact with overhead power lines. That’s why safe work procedures around them are so important.
Electricity is always looking for the quickest route to the ground. Unfortunately, people sometimes become conductors for the electricity. This can happen through either direct or indirect contact. Indirect contact is when you haven’t touched a live power line, but something you’re in physical contact with has, such as a ladder, pipe or tool. Shocks, burns and electrocution are common results from direct or indirect contact.
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General Electrical Safety Video
This is an excellent training video for all employees. Discusses electrical safety, grounding of electrical equipment, power cords, extension cords, double insulation, three prong plugs, wires, and a good safety overview of electrical safety in the workplace.
Employee Safety Orientation Safety Video
This video is the perfect way to introduce new employees to general occupational hazards to which they may be exposed and to re-train experienced workers. Program includes basic safety rules, electrical hazards, powered equipment and machinery, back injury prevention, fire protection and more.
Basic Electrical Safety Video
This video is designed to make employees aware of basic electrical safety in the workplace. It reviews the safety requirements on plugs, cords, cables, disconnect switches, hand/power safety, and other electrical safety equipment.
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SafetyNow has a robust library of streaming safety videos that are optimized to run on any device.
Electricity is all around us. It makes our lives easier in many ways, but it can also pose some serious hazards. Employees who take this course will learn how to recognize the dangers of electricity, possible electrical injuries, and how to use standard hazard controls. This course is presented in English and Spanish.
Electrical Safety - Arc Flash
Arc flash can happen instantly wherever there’s electricity, and can cause severe injury or death. Learners that complete this course should be able to identify the conditions and hazards associated with arc flashes, and the safe work practices and personal protective equipment recommended by OSHA and NIOSH. This course is geared towards qualified or unqualified workers who need training on arc flash, and will help employers meet OSHA and NIOSH training requirements. While this course also satisfies the NFPA’s 70E general training requirement in regards to Arc Flash for qualified workers, it may not satisfy any site/equipment-specific required training. It will fully meet training requirements for unqualified workers.
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SafetyNow is the CODiE award winner for Online Courses. There is no better and more engaging safety training solution available.
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