Electricity is a necessary source of energy in industrial plants but it can also be a serious workplace hazard. It exposes employees to electrocution, shock, fires, burns and explosions. According to OSHA, electrical accidents rank sixth amongst the causes of work-related fatalities in the United States. Hundreds of employees have lost lives due to electrical accidents and thousands have required time off to recover from injuries caused by them. The good news is that you can prevent electrical hazards by implementing the best electrical safety practices. Read on to know more.
Keeping the Employees Safe
Employees are the most important asset to your company, which is why you need to protect them from electrical hazards. The first step would be to acknowledge that hazards exist within your facility and decide on safe practices that must be employed in different work areas. Employee training is critical.
Make sure that the workers are qualified to perform the electrical tasks at hand. Ensure that employee knowledge is up to standard and monitor their daily work habits. Additionally, monitor the established processes to ensure compliance.
Role of Employers in Establishing Safety Practices
As an employer, you must undertake the following tasks to implement safety practices:
- Use due diligence to hire qualified candidates for the electrical work. At the same time, consider that the new hires have neither been tested nor been measured for understanding or qualified candidates and train them from scratch.
- Audit the workplace to determine the existing level of qualification and compliance.
- Separate the electrical work tasks into the categories of operations or maintenance and conduct audit performance to ensure that this separation remains.
- Don’t ever assume that your employees know how to handle electrical equipment safely. Provide them with company expectations on how to work with energized and de-energized equipment and demonstrate skills that would be necessary to conduct the tasks safely. It is important to periodically monitor for compliance and understanding. Lastly, measure the level of employee qualification.
- Audit the electrical safety program to ensure compliance with current standards and measure against industry best practices. It also helps in identifying various shortfalls in providing a safe work environment.
- Ensure that all the technically competent workers are aware of and can understand the hazards that they may encounter while working and how they can keep themselves and their peers safe while doing it.
Implementing Safety Model
You can give your employees the framework for safe work practices by introducing a safety model as a part of electrical hazard awareness orientation. The model would also encourage them to understand their tasks better, enabling them to identify and avoid potential risks when they are working with or around electricity. Safety model helps in the following three ways:
- It helps in recognizing the hazards in the workplace to avoid and control them. At this stage, the risk of injuries can be reduced and awareness can be increased by discussing and planning with supervisors and co-workers.
- It helps in evaluating the risks of injuries from each identified hazard, which helps you apply the appropriate method of control. Remember that risk evaluation is a continuous process to keep up with the constant changes in the workplace.
- Various control hazards can be based on the evaluation of risks associated with each job and worksite. The methods of control may range from posting warning signs in necessary risky areas, replacing the damaged cords of equipment or bringing in qualified professionals to execute technical safety and maintenance procedures.
Safety must be the number one goal while working in places where electrical tasks are performed. Implementing safe practices is a necessary step to protect your employees from any kind of risk.
Jeson Pitt works with the marketing department of D&F Liquidators and regularly writes to share his knowledge while enlightening people about electrical products and solving their electrical dilemmas. He’s got the industry insights that you can count on along with years of experience in the field. Jeson lives in Hayward, CA and loves to explore different cuisines that the food trucks in the Bay area have to offer.