As a business owner, it is your responsibility to keep your employees and your customers safe from hazards. Electrical hazards are something to be concerned about, regardless of the type of business you own and operate.
The Risks of Electrical Hazards
Electrical hazards occur more often than you might think. Every year, hundreds of employees are affected by burns, fires, electric shock, explosions, and electrocution. Simply by knowing the danger and proper preventative measures, you can help protect your employees and your business. By knowing what the electrical hazards are in the workplace, you know how to avoid potentially dangerous or even fatal situations.
OSHA Standards for Electrical Safety
TheOccupational Safety Health Administration has certain standards in place for electrical safety and avoiding electrical hazards. It knows the hazards in different industries, and provides tips for electrical safety in your type of business. It also works closely with the National Fire Protection Association in order to set its standards. OSHA focus on electrical equipment and systems used in your business when developing their security standards. This includes equipment, lighting, appliances, enclosures, switches, controls, and machines.
Tips for Avoiding Electrical Hazards
TheCenter for Disease Control also has their own tips and guidelines for avoiding electrical hazards, which you can pass on to your employees. This will help protect employees and your business itself. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Never come in contact with an overhead power line or a fallen power line. Only your local utility company can handle these power lines safely.
- If you see powerlines in the water, do not touch them, walk over them or drive through the water while they are there. This can lead to electrocution.
- Avoid coming in contact with any frayed wires or wires that are sparking. Consult an electrician instead.
- Get all of your electrical work maintained on a regular basis by a professional and skilled electrician. This can cause a lot of electrical hazards.
- Keep liquids away from all wires and electrical work.
- If you lost power and see sparks when you restore the power, turn it off and contact an electrician.
What to Do if Someone is Electrocuted
You and your employees should know the proper protocol if someone does get electrocuted. Here are the important steps to follow:
- Do not touch the person that was electrocuted. It is possible that they are still in contact with the source of electricity and can pass it to you if you touch them.
- Call 911 immediately.
- Find the source of electricity that caused the electrocution and disconnect it. If you can’t do that, at least try to safely move it away from you.
- Never touch burned clothing, blisters or burns caused by electrocution or electric shock.
- If they are showing signs of shock, lay them down with their legs elevated.
How to Protect Your Workers
To further protect your workers from electrical hazards, be sure they wear protective gear, including eye protection and rubber-soled shoes or boots. They should also wear leather or rubber gloves and not wear metal accessories or jewelry when near an electric current.