Electrical safety a key component of many SS&S training programs

FEDERAL SAFETY OFFICIALS tell us that approximately five workers are killed by electrocution every week in the United States. One of the goals of the Safety Solutions & Supply team is to do everything we can to keep that number as close to zero as possible within our sphere of operation and influence.

Electrical safety is an important topic covered in many of the construction- and industrial-related training programs offered by our company. Those programs include General Safety Training, OSHA 10 General Industry Training, OSHA 30 General Industry Training, OSHA 30 Construction Industry Training, and Arc Flash Training. In addition, our partnership with the Alliance Safety Council gives us the means to offer PowerSafe training, an integrated and comprehensive safety orientation and verification program for power and other utility contractors.

In addition to the five work-related electrocutions per week across the land, we know from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that electricity causes 12 percent of workplace deaths among young workers, that it takes very little electricity to cause harm, and that it poses a significant risk of causing fires.

The primary causes of electrocution are contact with overhead power lines, contact with live circuits in electrical panels, poorly maintained cords and tools, and lightning strikes.

The four primary types of electrical injuries are shock, burns, falls that result from sudden contact with electricity, and electrocution (death).

An OSHA QuickCard covering electrical safety offers these tips, which are good for anyone — at work or around the home:

  • Assume that all overhead wires are energized at lethal voltages. Never assume that a wire is safe to touch even if it is down or appears to be insulated.

  • Never touch a fallen overhead power line. Call the electric utility company to report fallen electrical lines.

  • Stay at least 10 feet away from overhead wires during cleanup and other activities. If working at heights or handling long objects, survey the area before starting work for the presence of overhead wires.

  • If an overhead wire falls across your vehicle while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not leave your vehicle. Warn people not to touch the vehicle or the wire. Call or ask someone to call the local electric utility company and emergency services.

  • Never operate electrical equipment while you are standing in water.

  • Never repair electrical cords or equipment unless qualified and authorized.

  • Have a qualified electrician inspect electrical equipment that has gotten wet before energizing it.

  • If working in damp locations, inspect electric cords and equipment to ensure that they are in good condition and free of defects, and use a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

  • Always use caution when working near electricity.

For more information about Safety Solutions & Supply’s training classes and on-site safety consultation services, give us a call at 1-866-537-2262. Our website home is solutionsinsafety.com.