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Working Safely Around Electricity

This week’s installment of Topics for Safety Meetings addresses working safely around electricity. Although installation of exit signs and emergency lighting is nothing new to the certified electrician, many business owners choose to install units themselves or have maintenance workers perform the job. Safety when working with electricity extends to the average employee dealing with office equipment or even appliances in the breakroom.
First and foremost for anyone dealing directly with an electrical connection – shut the power off to the circuit you will be using! Standard voltage in the United States is 120 or 277 volts, which could produce an affect anywhere from a tingling sensation to fatal electrocution depending on the conditions of contact. Once the power is removed, use a tester to make sure the power is actually off to the location you are working in. Use the correct tools; for instance, use wire strippers when needed instead of a pocket knife or razor blade to minimize the risk of injury.
General safety measures when around or using electrical equipment include:
– Reading and following any instructions included with equipment
– Do not force a plug into an outlet that does not match the slot configuration
– Do not touch electrical equipment, plugs, outlets or switches with wet hands
– Grip the plug to remove equipment from an outlet instead of pulling the cord
– Although equipment may be “off” electricity is still present. Unplug before cleaning, fixing or inspecting unit and when not in use
– Do not touch equipment with possibly compromised circuitry (indicators include flickering lights, sparks coming from unit, buzzing noises)
Leave your meeting with a reminder – Accidents Hurt, Safety Doesn’t. Remember to bookmark this page or subscribe to our blog to receive next week’s topic for safety meetings.