In 2015, an American employee worked an average of 1,811.16 hours. This is an increase from 1,638.3 hours in 1980. The negative effects of being overworked not only include a decline in worker productivity but also an increased exposure to hazards and an increased risk of injury. Though some occupations are safer than others, every employee should look out for the following 7 electrical hazards in the workplace.
1. Overhead power lines
Non-electrical workers should be careful to maintain a 10-foot distance from overhead power lines and nearby equipment. Employers should regularly conduct site surveys to make sure safety policies are followed and warning signs and barriers are present to caution non-electrical workers.
2. Damaged tools and equipment
Broken and damaged equipment should only be handled and fixed by qualified individuals. Equipment, wires, cords, and cables that show signs of cracks, cuts or abrasions should be repaired or replaced.
3. Poor wiring and overloaded circuits
Overloading an electrical outlet with an extension cord for an extended period of time can lead to overheating and even fire. Employers should schedule regular fire risk assessments to identify areas at risk of poor wiring and overloaded circuits to help prevent fires.
4. Exposed electrical parts
Temporary lighting, open power distribution units and detached insulation parts on electrical cords increase the risk of potential electrical shock and burns. These items should be protected by proper guarding mechanisms and damaged items should be removed from the workplace and replaced.
5. Improper grounding
Improperly grounded equipment is a common OSHA violation. Employers should institute policies that prohibit anyone from removing the metallic ground pin to make sure unused voltage is returned to the ground.
6. Poor insulation
If insulation is damaged or defective in any way, turn off all power sources before attempting to replace the insulation. Do not try to cover power sources with electrical tape — call a licensed electrician to take care of the issue.
7. Wet conditions
Wet electrical equipment should be inspected by a licensed electrician before attempting to use it. Store electrical equipment in a dry location and never operate the equipment in wet conditions.
If you encounter any of these hazards in your workplace the experts at Blue Apple Electric – 702-793-2800.