In 2020, there were 126 fatalities due to electrical hazards. 5.3% of electrical accidents were fatal.
The statistics mentioned above suggest how dangerous electrical accidents are.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) makes sure that the environment the employees are working in is conflict and harm-free. It is a federal agency that operates under the United States Department of Labor.
OSHA provides services to a lot of workplaces. It is not restricted to just one. You may be working in a manufacturing factory, at a construction site, or even at an office. OSHA has a course designed specifically for you to meet your working needs.
OSHA training like OSHA 30 Hour training NYC talks about different kinds of dangers and you learn to identify them. Electrical hazards are one such safety hazard. Electric shock, electrocution, fires explosions, and arc flash are the common electricity hazards.
OSHA Electrical Standards:
Osha has designed electrical standards to protect workers from electrical hazards. It had electrical standards for each organization. They are as follows:
- Construction: 29 CFR 1926, Subpart K
- Marine terminals: 29 CFR 1917
- Longshoring: 29 CFR 1918
- Shipyards: 29 CFR 1915
Work equipment operates on electricity. While carrying out regular duties, your workers may come into contact with machinery and circuits that are powered up or have the potential to be powered up. The OSHA guidelines recommend ensuring safe work practices for your employees by considering their possible exposure to electrical dangers.
How does OSHA reduce electrical hazards?
As mentioned above, OSHA meticulously monitors the electrical components of the organization to ensure they are hazard-free. It ensures the electrical wires are properly installed and insulated to prevent circuit breakage. Electrical hazards are maintained by proper grounding and guarding of cables. Most importantly, OSHA trains supervisors and workers on how to work with electrical equipment safely. It covers all the information from basic to advanced.
The supervisor should conduct regular meetings with the team and educate them on how they can maintain their safety on a personal level when working with electrical equipment. These meetings can be conducted within the premises of your workplace. However, the supervisor must research the safety standards before introducing them to the employees. Your supervisor can check out the OSHA website and go through the electrical standards they provide.
Supervisors should closely observe the work operations when electricity is involved. He should make sure that the workers are complying with the OSHA standards. As the workers are working, the supervisor should inspect the electrical equipment to identify any potential hazards. He must have a plan readily available to deal with an electrical emergency promptly.
Only qualified workers who are well-trained in working with electrical equipment should carry out the operations. The worker should know all the safety measures required in 29 CFR 1910.331-1910.335. Implementing these measures is equally important. Workers should be able to distinguish between different parts of an electrical circuit or equipment. They must know how to protect themselves from the metal parts that become energized. A worker working with electricity must know how to prevent an electricity-related accident.
An unqualified worker who is still learning should not be exposed to electricity. Only after considerable training are they allowed to carry out electrical operations under close supervision.
The On-Site Consultation will help your employees in the following ways:
- Assist in identifying electrical hazards.
- Suggest preventive measures against electrical hazards.
- Help identify the support you can get if you require more assistance.
- Assist in improving the health and safety standards for your organization.
- Provide online safety training and education to your employees from online reputable platform like NYOSHA30.com.
OSHA Quick Card: Electrical Safety
Employees can take general guidelines from OSHA Quick Cards to protect themselves from electricity hazards:
- Employees should be careful with Overhead power lines as they are most energized with high voltage. Even if they are insulated, workers should refrain from touching them.
- Electrical utility companies should be immediately informed about fallen lines.
- Workers must stay away from overheated lines at least at a distance of 10 feet (3 meters). The supervisor should carefully monitor the work area when there are overhead lines to avoid accidental touching and electrical shocks.
- In an emergency, if an overhead line falls on your vehicle, stay inside until you drive away from the line. Workers working nearby should be notified instantly, and a local electric utility company should be contacted.
- It is mandatory for workers to wear their PPE to protect the sensitive parts of the face, such as the eyes, from electrical flashes. Workers must wear goggles to avoid objects hitting the eyes in case of an electrical explosion.
- As water is the conductor of electricity, all electrical cords should be placed away from moisture. Electrical wires and equipment should not be touched with wet hands. In short, all operations should be terminated immediately near water.
- Before using wet electric equipment, it should be checked by a skilled technician.
- Before working in damp environments, supervisors should inspect the surroundings. Only after ensuring the safety of workers they should be allowed to work.
- Always use caution when working with electricity.
Why is it important to protect your workers and workplace from Electrical Hazards?
Accidents due to electricity are mostly fatal. Hence, organizations should implement strategies to protect their workers from electrical hazards.
When a workplace does not guarantee a safe environment for its workers, it hinders their productivity. Their quality of work would decrease as they would constantly worry about the possibility of electrical accidents. Constant worry erupts stress and anxiety in workers, deteriorating their morale and health.
If your organization provides a safe and sound working environment to the workers, it would add credibility to your organization’s reputation as more workers would want to work with you. A secure workplace decreases absenteeism, accidents, injuries, and turnover.
Electric accidents result in explosions and fire, which damages the building and your resources. Repairing equipment is quite expensive. Damaged equipment and property also disrupt work operations, bringing work to a halt.
To prevent electrical accidents and maintain the safety of your workers, we suggest that you partner with OSHA. It plays a significant role in protecting workers and preventing workplace accidents.
OSHA will help create a safer workplace environment by providing training, on-site consultations, and enforcing safety standards.