What is an electrical hazard?
It is a dangerous condition where a person can or does make an electrical contact with energized equipment or a conductor. Because of that contact, the person might sustain an injury from shock and also there is a possibility to get an arc flash burn.
Anyone can be exposed to the dangers of electricity while at work and everyone should be made aware of the dangers.
It is usually the maintenance staff, those who work near the electrical plant, equipment and machinery are more prone to these kind of hazards.
Most electrical accidents occur because individuals:
- are working on or near equipment which is thought to be dead but which is, in fact, live
- are working on or near equipment which is known to be live, but where those involved are without adequate training or appropriate equipment, or they have not taken adequate precautions
- Misuse of equipment or use faulty electrical equipment.
Below are few steps which should be taken to ensure electrical safety.
- maintain all electrical installations in good working order
- provide enough socket-outlets for equipment in use
- avoid overloading socket-outlets – using adaptors can cause fires
- For portable equipment, connect to nearby socket-outlets so that it can be easily disconnected in an emergency.
Use the right equipment
- choose electrical equipment that is suitable for its working environment
- ensure that equipment is safe when supplied and maintain it in a safe condition
- Electrical equipment used in flammable/explosive atmospheres should be designed not to produce sparks. Seek specialist advice when choosing this type of equipment.
- Protect light bulbs and other easily damaged equipment – there is a risk of electric shock if they are broken.
- Ensure equipment is fitted with the correctly rated fuse.
- ensure cable ends always have their outer sheaths firmly clamped to stop wires working loose from plugs or inside equipment
- Replace damaged sections of cable completely – never repair cuts with insulating tape.