Safety in the workplace is pretty essential. This is crucial when working with something that can cause serious harm, like electricity. Electrical workers are one of the people in the most dangerous line of profession. Electricity at excessive voltage can kill and cause untold damage. Besides, the human body is a conductor of electricity, which calls for utmost care when working as an electrician or dealing with electricity.
All electrical systems and installations can cause harm. The human body, being a natural conductor of electricity, is susceptible to severe burns and shocks.
Working with electricity is serious business as several things can cause ham: arc blast can damage the lungs or cause the muscles to contract. In addition, the brain or heart can suffer from direct contact with an energized conductor.
As dangerous as electrical work is, it is possible to work effectively with these systems without injury. This comes down to protecting yourself and understanding basic safety procedures to follow while working. As a result, here are five crucial electricity safety rules one can observe while working with electricity,
- Always Use Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment is vital for almost every fieldwork. The aim is to serve as a barrier between you and any potential source of harm while working. For example, as an electrician, it protects the entire body and prevents any accidental contact with electricity.
As an electrician, you will need an overall insulated glove, blankets, goggles, insulated safety boots, insulated safety helmets, etc. They should all be inspected to ensure they are in the proper condition before use. For example, a rubber glove will ensure that a current does not pass through your body even if you accidentally touch a live wire.
- Always Inspect and Maintain Your Tools
Your tools need constant inspection before use so that you can easily detect any fault. For example, all your power tools should be inspected constantly for exposed wires, frayed cords, or missing prongs.
Ensure not to pull your 30 amp extension cord from the mains and always check the insulation protecting the body as it is prone to damage.
Watch out for cracks or broken insulation on the handles of your tools, faulty trigger locks, damaged kill switches, etc., which should all be replaced. It is never safe to use a damaged tool for work; make sure to tag it for repair as soon as possible.
Keep all damaged tools and appliances so no one will use them. Also, have a time scheduled for maintenance.
- Observe the Right Lockout/Tag-out Procedure
Ideally, when you want to have electrical work, be it repair, maintenance, or installation, turning off the current at the main switch is the first step. However, you might have to work in a large industrial factory where communication with other workers might be challenging. Therefore, after switching off the mains box, the first step is to have a notice or sign informing everyone that there is an electrical work in progress.
Lockout/tag-out procedure is a vital safety principle essential for all electrical operations. It is necessary because:
- You get a lower risk of electrocution as it helps ensure that all electrical equipment is adequately rid of electrons.
Make sure to use a tester if you are unsure whether electrical equipment is utterly de-energized before commencing repair work.
- Also, someone not aware of the ongoing electrical work will not accidentally switch on the box, leading to a catastrophe.
- Don’t use a Steel or Aluminum Ladder.
While working with electricity, you want to avoid contact with anything that is a conductor of electricity. This includes anything made of metal, aluminum, steel, etc. A slight electric shock is enough to cause serious damage to body organs or severe burns.
As a result, when working at height, you will need to use a ladder and be mindful of the ladder type. Your ladder should not have any part made of metal, steel, or aluminum.
Such a ladder might make current flow through your body, which could be deadly. As a result, you are better off working with a completely insulated ladder like one made of wood, fiberglass, or bamboo.
- Have a Rigid Barrier Around all Electrical Hazards
All sources of electrical hazards should be adequately protected to prevent unauthorized access. For example, as an electrician, make sure all cabinet doors fixed on electrical panels are always locked. Also, any hole in which anyone could get in contact with exposed wires should be properly hidden. For an electrical cabinet that cannot be closed, one can use a shield or an insulating material to protect such a source of hazard.
The company floor needs to have visible safety signs that mark high-priority areas off from people without clearance. For instance, should there be ongoing maintenance on an electrical panel that must be opened throughout the maintenance operation, there should be physical barriers and restrictions preventing unauthorized access to the board.
Electricity is a serious potential source of hazard that must be handled with care. Therefore, an electrician needs to observe essential safety precautions to ensure the security of life and properties.
Once you respect electricity and observe basic safety principles, you can rest assured that there will be a low probability of an accident and other unplanned events. Read more