5 Essential Electrical Safety Tips

Electrical worker taking safety precautions

When working with electricity, it’s imperative to take certain precautions. Adopting a casual attitude could lead to injuries or even death on the job site. By occupation, workers in the extraction and construction industries have the highest incidents of death from electrocution. However, any occupation that deals with electricity in any way also comes with a heightened risk of electrical injury or death.

Follow These 5 Electrical Safety Tips To Avoid Trouble

It’s easy to become too comfortable when you’ve had a lot of experience working around electricity. But no matter how experienced you are, you should always remain on your guard. Think through every situation before you work with any objects that have electrical currents flowing through them. These tips will help you keep yourself safe.

1. Don’t Let Electrical Equipment Get Wet

Water and electricity make a deadly combination. While this is common knowledge, many electrical accidents happen because people become careless around electricity and water. To stay safe, keep water and all other types of liquid at least 5 feet from any source of electricity. In environments with moisture, install ground fault circuit interrupters to reduce the likelihood of electrical shock, overheating and other electrical incidents.

2. Properly Ground Equipment

Proper grounding of equipment is one of the most important electrical safety tips you can follow. Improper grounding of equipment increases the risk of electrocution. Refer to grounding guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure you’re following grounding requirements. This will not only help keep you safe but also help you avoid any penalties due to noncompliance.  

3. Cover Any Exposed Electrical Parts

Open power distribution units, temporary lighting and detached insulation parts on electrical cords can all be hazards. It’s important to immediately secure these items by repairing them or using appropriate guarding mechanisms to keep them covered.

4. Do Not Fix Electrical Equipment Unless Qualified

One of the most important electrical safety tips is to never attempt to fix electrical equipment or tools unless you’re qualified to do so. You should always contact someone who is qualified to make the types of electrical repairs you need.

If you’re not sure whether a piece of equipment poses a risk of electrocution, look for cuts, abrasions or cracks on any wires, cords or cables. If you see any but you aren’t qualified to fix them, contact someone who is. If you are qualified to make electrical repairs to equipment, always follow established Lockout Tagout procedures and use lockout tagout safety tags to protect yourself and other workers on site.

5. Use Appropriate Signage

In areas where potentially hazardous electricity is in use, post signage to identify hazards and keep everyone safe. For example, install safety signs near high-voltage power lines or electrical panels. Use other signs to identify shock hazards and electrostatic-sensitive areas. A wide variety of electrical safety signs are available for almost any situation.

Use these five electrical safety tips to help minimize risks on the job site.

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