Posted on: 11 May, 2021 | Reading Time: 4 mins read
Electricity is imperative for efficient functioning in daily life, both at home and at work. It is an important source of energy, which gives power to equipment, machinery, lights, tools and innumerable other items that we use on a daily basis. To be able to effectively function and allow for the most production from your employees one requires having safe and functional electricity within the workplace.
Today every workplace operates on electricity, so workplace electrical injuries are a real threat in any location. All electrical systems used in the industrial sphere have the potential to cause serious harm, especially if improperly used or maintained.
There are four main types of injuries. These injuries can happen in various ways:
1) Electrocution (fatal)
People get injured when they become part of the electrical circuit. Humans are better conductors of electricity compared to the earth (the ground we stand on). This means that if there is no other easy path, electricity will flow through our bodies. This could prove dangerous, sometimes even fatal.
2) Electric shock
Direct contact with exposed energized/live conductors or circuit parts can cause shock. When electrical current travels through our bodies, it interferes with the normal electrical signals between our brain & muscles (e.g., heart may stop beating properly, breathing may stop, or muscles may spasm).
Electric faults can cause fires. A fire or explosion where electricity is the source of ignition could result in a potentially flammable or explosive atmosphere, e.g. in a spray paint booth could result in burns
a) Thermal burns include burns from heat generated by an electric arc. Flame burns can result from materials that catch on fire from heating or ignition by electrical currents.
b) Contact burns from being shocked can burn internal tissues while they leave only very small injuries on the outside of the skin.
c) Ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) light emitted from the arc flash can result in eye damage.
d) An arc blast can lead to physical injuries, collapse your lungs, or create noise that can damage hearing.
A startle reaction or muscle contractions can cause a person to fall from a ladder, aerial bucket or scaffold. The fall can result in serious injuries.
Fortunately, it is possible to prevent most of the electrical hazards with a little caution and regular checks.
Proper employee training plays a crucial role in avoiding electrical injuries at work.
Ensure that people who are working with electricity are competent to do the job. Even simple tasks such as wiring a plug can lead to danger – ensure that people know what they are doing before they start.
Electrical safety signs and labels provide key information for employees and visitors to help keep everyone safe and prevent workplace electrical injuries.
A safe work place is crucial and ensuring that you have the right safety procedures and policies for things such as working at heights, first aid CPR, confined space entry, these simple steps can create a great work environment that is safe and productive.