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  Customer Information > Safety Tips and Measures
Electricity Safety @ Work
 

Electrocution is one of the top five causes of workplace deaths. Many workplace electrocutions involve touching a power line with long or tall equipment.

To be truly safe, make safe work habits second nature. Look out for everyone. Take responsibility for noticing, reporting and correcting electrical hazards. Talk with your supervisor about hazards which have been reported but not corrected.

Many electrical injuries could be prevented if people were alert to hazards. Stay aware by keeping focused on your job and don't let emotions like anger and frustration get in the way.

It might take longer to keep your area clean and dry, or inspect cords for wear, but it's worth a few minutes to prevent shock or fire. Before using unfamiliar equipment, study instructions and get questions answered.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 

Personal protective equipment is your first line of defense against shock and electrical burns. Keep boots, gloves and other gear in good condition - even a pinhole will let electricity through. Wear non-conductive protection on your head, face, hands, and feet. Use insulated tools or handling equipment, such as non-conductive ropes and protective shields 

Always use and maintain wiring, tools and equipment correctly.
 

Dirt and dampness increase the risk of shock. Keep your tools, work area, and storage space clean, and dry. When cleaning electrical equipment, be sure it's unplugged, and follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions. 

  • Before you start work, check electric cords for wear.

  • If our outside or in a wet location, be sure tools and extension cords are suitable for outdoor use and circuits are equipped with GFCIs.

  • Check to be sure cords are free of oil, heat, and corrosive chemicals

  • Do not yank, kink or bend cords

  • Store cords loosely coiled in a dry place.

  • Never carry a tool by its cord.

  • Be sure a tool is switched "off" before plugging or unplugging - this protects you and the next person who uses it.

  • Watch out for energized areas when reaching into equipment.

  • Shields, barriers, insulation and GFCIs protect you, so don't modify them just to get a job done faster.

  • Learn and follow your company's lockout/tag out procedures.

  • If in doubt, ask a qualified electrical worker for help.

  • Uncoil an extension cord fully before use and ensure that the amperage marked on it is adequate

  • Don't use equipment that gives off mild shocks, unusual heat, or odd smells. If in doubt, have it checked and repaired or replaced.

  • Sweep up scraps and sawdust and store flammable liquids in approved containers.

  • Don't use electrical equipment when flammable gases, vapors, liquids, dusts or fibers are present.

Electrical / Fire Safety 

Most electrical fires can be traced to overheated circuits and overloaded equipment. When abused, insulation may melt or burn, exposing live wires. Electrical fires can also occur when equipment is driven beyond capacity, or accumulated oil and dirt overheat a motor, or sparks ignite scraps, dirt, dust, or flammable liquids.

Be Prepared: Fire Safety List


Visualize your plan of response in a fire, so you can move quickly if one happens. Take into account 

  • The nearest multipurpose fire extinguisher and how to use it.

  • The nearest emergency exit or fire escape.

  • Your company's escape plan

  • Company procedures for notifying fire fighters and other emergency personnel. (Try to extinguish a fire yourself only if you are trained and it's small or non-threatening. When in doubt, get out and take others with you.)

Good electrical safety habits can help protect you and your co-workers from injury. And you can play a role in recognizing and preventing workplace hazards. Keep in mind that: 

  • Electrocution is one of the top five causes of workplace deaths.

  • Workers younger than 25 have the highest rate of death from electrical shock.

  • Many workplace electrocutions involve touching a power line with long or tall equipment.

Stay Alert 

Many electrical injuries could be prevented if people were alert to hazards. Stay aware by keeping focused on your job and don't let emotions like anger and frustration get in the way.

Check Cords and Connections

Before you start work, check electric cords for wear. If you're outside or in a wet location, be sure tools and extension cords are suitable for outdoor use and circuits.  Also keep cords free of oil, heat and corrosive chemicals. Never yank, kink or bend cords, and store them loosely coiled in a dry place.

Use Power Tools and Equipment Safely 

Never carry a tool by its cord. Be sure a tool is switched "off" before plugging or unplugging - this protects you and the next person who uses it. Watch out for energized areas when reaching into equipment. Shields, barriers, insulation, and protect you, so don't modify them just to get a job done faster. Learn and follow your company's lockout/tag out procedures. If in doubt, ask a qualified electrical worker for help.

Keep Tools Clean and Dry 

Dirt and dampness increase the risk of shock. Keep your tools, work area and storage space clean and dry. When cleaning electrical equipment, be sure it's unplugged, and follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions. 

Use Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is your first line of defense against shock and electrical burns. Keep boots, gloves and other gear in good condition - even a pinhole will let electricity through. Wear non-conductive protection on your head, face, hands and feet. Use insulated tools or handling equipment, such as non-conductive ropes and protective shields. 

Prevent Workplace Electrical Fires 

How Fires Happen 

Most electrical fires can be traced to overheated circuits and overloaded equipment. When abused, insulation may melt or burn, exposing live wires. Electrical fires can also occur when equipment is driven beyond capacity, or accumulated oil and dirt overheat a motor, or sparks ignite scraps, dirt, dust or flammable liquids.

Your Prevention Plan
  • Use and maintain wiring, tools and equipment correctly. Keep everything oil and dust free.

  • Uncoil an extension cord fully before use. Find the amperage marked on it. Is it adequate?

  • Don't use equipment that gives off mild shocks, unusual heat or odd smells. If in doubt, have it checked and repaired or replaced.

  • Sweep up scraps and sawdust, and store flammable liquids in approved containers.

  • Don't use electrical equipment when flammable gases, vapors, liquids, dusts or fibers are present.

Be Prepared: A Fire Safety Checklist


Visualize your plan of response in a fire, so you can move quickly if one happens. Take into account:

  • The nearest multipurpose fire extinguisher and how to use it.

  • The nearest emergency exit or fire escape.

  • Your company's escape plan.

  • Company procedures for notifying firefighters and other emergency personnel.

(Try to extinguish a fire yourself only if you are trained and it's small or non-threatening. When in doubt, get out and take others with you.)