Electrical equipment is a common sight in residential as well as commercials spaces. People in these spaces who work either directly or indirectly with electricity are always exposed to electrical hazards. A majority of the electrical hazards can be avoided with a proper understanding of the electrical equipment and some simple precautions on their usage. Described below are some of the most common electrical risks. By following few precautions, electrical hazards can be prevented at residential as well as commercial premises.
Common Electrical Hazards and How to Prevent Them
- Overhead Power Lines – They are one of the most common sources of electrical hazards. They carry high voltages and can cause severe burns. Contact with them may even lead to electrocution. Hence, it is important to maintain a minimum distance of 10 feet from them. Install safety barriers with clear warning signboards. Conduct regular site surveys and ensure that nothing is stored under the overhead power lines.
- Faulty or Damaged Electrical Equipment – Most of the times people tend to ignore faulty or damaged electrical equipment or tools used to handle such equipment. This can prove to be fatal. Always check all the tools and equipment for cracks, cuts or abrasions. Cables, cords, wires, etc., should not have any type of defects. If any of these tools or equipment are faulty or damaged, they should be immediately repaired or replaced as required. LOTO or Lock Out Tag Out procedures should always be performed before initiating electrical repairs and maintenance. Such procedures are designed to ensure electrical safety and safeguard people working with electrical equipment.
- Overloaded Circuits and Inappropriate Wiring–Inappropriate wiring can lead to overloading of circuits and may result in overheating and fires. Hence, always use the correct wire and extension cord. Upgrade wiring as per the need of your equipment. Do not overload an outlet and use appropriate circuit breakers. Carry out periodical fire risk evaluations to identify risks of inappropriate wiring and overloaded circuits.
- Poor Grounding – This is a common error seen in most of the residential as well as commercial spaces. When metal components are plugged into circuits that are grounded poorly or improperly, these components and electronic equipment can become energized. This can lead to electrical injuries. Seek professional help to ensure that your home and/or office has a proper grounding of electrical circuits.
- Wet Surroundings – Water and electrical equipment is a recipe for disaster. Water increases the risk of electrocution, especially if the equipment has damaged insulation. Make sure that you never operate any electrical equipment in wet locations. Always keep the surroundings of such equipment free from any clutter and dry. In case electrical equipment has gotten wet, get it checked from a qualified electrician before using it.
- Flawed or Inadequate Insulation – Insulation is an important factor when dealing with electricity. Damaged or inadequate insulation equates to a serious electrical hazard. Switch off all power sources before resolving the issue and do not attempt to cover the damaged area with tape.
One of the best solutions to reduce the risk of electrical injuries and improve electrical safety is to carry out a detailed inspection with the help of a certified electrician regularly. Other simple measures include installing railings, machine guards, and locked-out machines. Commercial spaces can establish specific policies for generating awareness, training and implementing operational changes to protect employees from electrical hazards.
Author bio: Jeson Pitt works with the marketing department of D & F Liquidators in Hayward, CA 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.