Burns and shocks are the two major risks posed by electricity. Contact with electricity under certain circumstances can cause severe internal and/or external burns. In other situations, contact can cause shocks that interrupt the normal activity of the brain and/or heart and lead to unconsciousness or death.
The rule of danger governing most events of burn or shock is that electricity will follow the path of least resistance. If that path passes through your body, then you are subject to injury or death. Avoiding contact with an electrical current is the basis of all electrical safe-work practices.
Any electrical equipment that produce a "tingle" or a "shock" should be reported promptly for repair. Call Facilities Services at X8955. "Shorts" in electrical equipment can become extremely hazardous, particularly where contact may readily be made against the metal framework of an exhaust hood, a damp floor, or a metal door. Do not rely on grounding to mask a defective circuit. Do not attempt to correct a fault by insertion of a fuse of larger capacity than the original one.
Keep the use of extension cords to a minimum and the cords as short as possible. Do not overload electrical outlets. Be sure insulation and wire size of any necessary extension cords are adequate for the voltage and current to be carried. Extension cords should not be used in place of permanent wiring. If possible, additional fixed outlets should be installed.
Work on electrical devices should be performed only by qualified individuals and only after power has been disconnected or shut off and suitable precautions taken to keep the power off during the work. OSHA Regulation (Lock Out/Tag Out) 29 CFR 1910.147 On portable equipment, the power cord should be unplugged and secured so that power cannot be accidentally turned on by someone else. On stationary equipment, the main power switch should be shut off and locked with a padlock; shutting off and blocking starter switches is not safe enough since an internal short can bypass the switch and start equipment.
Contact with electrical currents is prevented by using insulation and other barriers. Barriers can be a chain-link fence around a transformer, the cover plate on a piece of equipment, an electrical panel, or the rubber cover on an extension cord. Some action is required, such as removing a cover plate or opening a junction box, before you can normally be exposed to an electrical current. The best safety precaution is to never dismantle equipment or open electrical boxes unless you have been trained to do so and assigned the task by a supervisor. If you see bare wires or fuses, immediately report them to Facilities Services.
Almost all machinery, power tools, and lighting use at least some electrical power. When working around electricity, you must follow a number of safe-work practices.
Know your limitations - never attempt a task unless you have been properly trained to do it.
Read instructions and notices before beginning work.
Treat all wires as "live or hot" until you know they are "dead".
Always use a "lock, tag, and try" procedure when working with electricity.
Never operate electrical appliances with wet hands. (Even from perspiration)
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Always wear approved PPE - both hand and eye protection
Always practice sound housekeeping procedures.
Keep areas dry when working with electricity.
Clean tools frequently but never use flammable solvents on them.
Keep equipment nameplates clean and legible.
Clearly label all electrical boxes, panels, and other power sources.
Properly secure extension cords so they do not become a tripping hazard.
Tools and Equipment
Make sure that the tools used have a grounded three-prong plug and are double insulated.
Use proper tools such as fuse pliers when working with electricity.
Never string electrical cords together.
Never pull on the cord to disconnect a power tool or extension cord.
Never work on conductive aluminum ladders.
Inspect electrical cords and equipment before using.
Have defective equipment repaired by a qualified maintenance person.
Never remove the third (ground) prong from an electrical plug.
Never use a damaged receptacle.
Always be sure that electrical panels and junction box covers are secure and not blocked.
Any employees who work on or near exposed energized parts must be trained on the safe work practices for working with electrical equipment. OSHA Regulation 29 CFR 1910.301-.339 Managers must identify at risk workers and document appropriate training.
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