Safer Power: OSHA Electrical Safety Tips and Checks You Need to Know

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1,000 electrical injury-related deaths happen each year in the United States. Only about 5% of these deaths are due to lightning strikes. The remainder occurs because of high-voltage electrical wiring and equipment.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates electrical safety training for this reason. The risk electrical systems present also explains why electrical workers require licenses to work in their field.

We will offer our top OSHA electrical safety tips in this guide. Keep reading to learn how to promote a safer workplace for yourself and your workers.

Arc Flashes

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Arc flash injuries are increasingly problematic in the workplace. An arc flash happens when an electric current strays from its intended path. It then travels into the air or the ground.

When an arc flash happens, people in the area can become severely injured. In some cases, arc flashes may even lead to death.

Luckily, arc flash training online offers courses for you and your employees. You can learn how to prevent these deadly events from happening with better design, operations, and maintenance.

PPE Shortages

Another reason arc flashes have become such an issue is because of a lack of personal protective equipment for employees.

Arc flash suits include pants, a jacket, insulated gloves, and a hooded face shield to protect workers from electric shock. The sleeves of shirts and jackets should be insulated to reduce the lethality of potential arc flashes.

Other required PPE for electricians includes safety glasses, hard hats, and flame-resistant coverings.

HV Equipment Placement

Paying attention to the placement of high-voltage (HV) equipment can significantly reduce workplace injuries.

For example, HV equipment should always be out of reach for untrained employees. It should also be inaccessible to workers who do not wear or have insulated gear.

Additionally, consider using electrical insulation mats. These mats are made of rubber and do not conduct electricity well. Place them under HV equipment to protect your employees from arc flashes.

Extension Cord Misuse

Extension cord misuse is one of the top causes of an electrical safety hazard. To avoid one, always match up the plug and cord to a polarized cord. Also, use a ground fault circuit interrupter, especially in wet environments.

OSHA requires you to stop using any extension cord that does not have a grounding cord. Other guidelines from OSHA include:

  • Never run extension cords through holes in the wall or floor
  • Don’t attach extension cords to walls or ceilings
  • Avoid using extension cords as alternatives to fixed wiring

Finally, always ensure that your extension cords are in good working order. Don’t overload circuits with extension cords, either.

Follow These OSHA Electrical Safety Tips to Protect Your Workers

These OSHA electrical safety guidelines can make the difference between life and death. But understanding these requirements is not enough. You must also train your employees to abide by them, too.