What Does Electrical Safety Mean?
Electrical safety refers to any type of precaution taken to protect against electric currents.
Contact with electricity can cause serious injuries, including:
- Electrical shocks
- Electrical burns
If severe enough, electrocution can be fatal.
Employers are responsible for ensuring workplace safety by mandating workers to follow the correct safety procedures while dealing with electricity
Safeopedia Explains Electrical Safety
The human body is a good conductor of electricity. When a body part comes in contact with electricity, it can become part of the circuit and suffer an electric shock. Electrocution commonly occurs when a person contacts unsafe equipment or an un-insulated wire, becoming a part of the electrical circuit.
Electrical Burn Hazards
A current of 100 mA can easily pass through the body and leave marks at the point of contact. A current above 10,000 mA can cause serious burns, which may be beyond treatment and require amputation.
Burn hazards associated with electricity include electrical burns, arc burns, and thermal burns. Electrical burns often affect internal organs due to the heat generated by the body’s resistance to the current passing through it. This can have serious consequences and external injuries do not always show the extent of internal injury.
Safety Precautions for Electrical Hazards
Employers should diligently apply the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) recommendations for electrical safety standards. These include:
- Always wear adequate safety gloves when touching electrical wires (even insulated ones)
- Inspect your surroundings before working on power lines or power stations
- Deal with any wetness or dampness on your person or surroundings before working with electricity
- Electrical wires or devices should only be repaired by qualified and authorized personnel
- Ensure that all electrical devices are grounded before dealing with them
- Make sure electrical circuit breakers are in place before performing maintenance on electrical devices
Electrical Safety PPE
Since electricity is inherently dangeous, workers who deal with electrical equipment or electrical hazards must be outfitted with personal protective equipment.
Depending on the specific electrical hazards, this could include safety glasses, arc-rated safety gloves, hard hats rated for electroical hazards, and shock-resistant safety shoes.