“Accidents happen” is a phrase we hear all too often – and frequently with sad or even tragic results. This is a pity as common sense and practicality can prevent these incidents from occurring.
As an Employer, What Should You Do?
Proper maintenance of equipment and training your staff to ensure the safe use of all electrical materials is the employer’s primary responsibility. Likewise, teach your employees to be vigilant about incidents such as sparking, electrical fluctuations, and needing to report and replace faulty or worn-out equipment.
Risk Reduction Tips
Lower Voltage is Key
The recommended maximum voltage for portable equipment powered from a 110-volt power supply is 55 volts to prevent electrical shock injury. You can also lower the risk of accidents by using battery-powered or rechargeable equipment such as drills and hand-held lighting.
Ground All Your Equipment
Also known as “earthing,” the practice of grounding offers the following benefits:
- Protects appliances and devices from electrical overload and power surges;
- Voltage levels remain stable and keep circuits from overloading and blowing up; and
- Grounding also safely directs electrical power to areas that need it without endangering users.
Fit Your Fuses Properly
Fuses also help protect devices from electrical overloading as these automatically cut off the power when the current exceeds its standard capacity. When installing equipment, be sure to read the manufacturer’s guidelines for the appropriate fuse to use with the device.
You’re Going to Need a Residual Current Device
A residual current device (RCD) provides additional safety in cases involving equipment that operates at 230 volts or higher. While these cannot prevent electrical shock, they can reduce the severity if such incidents occur by enabling the device’s rapid disconnection from its power supply.
Preventive Maintenance is Better Than Putting Out Fires
Finally, regular checking on the state of electrical equipment in the workplace or job site goes a long way in keeping everyone working within the vicinity safe. Be sure to spend ample time doing proper inspections, providing regular training on electrical safety to your employees, and replacing faulty items.