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About Electrical Safety

NewsID:190    Datetime:2011-01-07


Protect yourself from electrical hazards. Use lockout/tagout devices such as fuse lockouts, plug lockouts, wall switch lockouts, and single or multiple breaker lockouts. An electrician needs to think about electrical safety and use insulated products and wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Attend all safety training meetings and look up Web based OSHA-compliant training courses online. Have non-conductive floor mats and insulated tools on hand. Don’t go to jobs without your safety glasses or goggles, gloves, hardhats, ear protection, steel-toedwork boots, and fire resistant clothing. Know how to use the first aid kit and stay safe.
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Regular use of approved, properly operating safety equipment by crews on every job should be mandatory and monitored by management. Safety equipment saves lives and minimizes injuries.

Lockout/Tagout Devices
When working on live electrical circuits, the only way for an electrician to assure maximum protection from electrical shock is to de-energize the circuit and secure it in that mode with lockout and tagout. Lockout devices for circuits and machinery include fuse lockouts, plug lockouts, wall switch lockouts, and single and multiple breaker lockouts. Tags should be easy-to-see signs or labels that read DANGER DO NOT OPERATE and identify the specific circuit or piece of machinery it addresses. Keeping the color and shape of the devices and tags consistent throughout the job precludes any misunderstanding. Kits are available that, typically, will fit a range of circuits.

Insulated Products
Electricians working on or near live circuits should stand on non-conductive floor mats that feature high dielectric strength to prevent grounding, wear insulated gloves and use insulated tools. Insulated tools feature insulated grips (certified to the official international 1000V rating) that have two layers of insulation in different colors. If an inner color is visible, the tool should be discarded.

Safety Training
All employees benefit from initial and periodic training on safe work practices and procedures. Contracting firms that do not have a full time safety director to oversee the teaching can bring in a safety instructor to run classes or utilize commercially prepared textbooks, training videos, or computer-based courses.

Computer-based and Web-based OSHA-compliant training courses offer employees the opportunity to self-pace, ensuring enough time to "get" each concept. Some Web-based solutions feature the ability for management to track progress. Every employee not fluent in English should receive training in his or her native language.

First Aid Kits
Every job site should have at least one first aid kit equipped with a self-contained personal eye wash for quick emergency flushing, as well as dressing and creams for wound and burn injuries.

Personal Protective Equipment
OSHA requires personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate for the parts of the body that need protection and the work performed. PPE includes safety glasses, goggles and gloves, hardhats and ear protection, dust masks or full face respirators, and leather and/or steel-toed work boots or hard soled shoes for jobsites that might have loose screws, nails, steel beams or nail-embedded wood strewn about.

When electrical hazards are present or when there is risk of foot injury from falling or rolling objects, nails or other sharp objects, electricians should wear ANSI approved shoes or work boots. For protection against electrical hazards, electricians should wear footwear specifically marked EH, indicating it is approved for electrical work.

Any time there is a chance for arc flash, workers should wear fire resistant (FR) clothing and protective gear that meets NFPA standard 70E, which requires different levels of protection depending upon the level of risk.

Safety is paramount on any job site and with the proper training, tools and PPE equipment, workers can be assured that they'll remain protected against electrical and other jobsite hazards.

 

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