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Electrical Safety: Basic Understanding and OSHA Safety Tips

Electrical safety is very important in our daily life, as all electrical systems used in the home, offices and industries can cause serious injury by electrocution or flash burns. Even unplugging the power cord from the outlet without turning off the power can be dangerous if accidentally touched a live part, which can cause electric shock and death.

Electrical Safety: Basic Understanding and OSHA Safety Tips

Electrical Safety: Basic Understanding and OSHA Safety Tips

The human body is a conductor of electricity / electric current. Electricity forms a complete circuit by taking the easiest path and when the human body comes in contact with live part of the electrical circuit, it becomes part of it and gets injured by electrocution. Electrical safety must be followed to ensure the safety of people and safety of electrical appliances by identifying hazards, preventing the causes of failure and providing control measures based on the risk assessment.

 

Electricity Vs Electric Current

Electricity is form of energy generated due to flow of charged particles whereas electric current is flow of charged (+ve or -ve) particles per unit time.

There are two types of electricity i.e. Static electricity and Dynamic electricity.  Static electricity is accumulation or deficiency of charges on surfaces of two dissimilar matter due to friction or contact whereas Dynamic electricity is the uniform motion of electrons through a conductor.

 

What is Electrical Safety?

Electrical safety is the ongoing practice and process of identifying electrical hazards, assessing the risk, and implementing controls to prevent electrocution, burns, or other injuries. Electrical Safety formulates guidelines to prevent, mitigate electrical hazards and minimize the severity of the consequences.

What is the importance of electrical safety procedure in workplace?

What are the hazards and risk of electricity?

 

Electrical Safety Rules

Here are the 20 general electrical safety rules to prevent errors, control hazards and prevent electrical accidents.

Electrical Safety Rule No.1

Treat all electrical devices as live or energized when plan to work on it.

Electrical Safety Rule No.2

Switch off or disconnect the power source before plug out the cord, servicing or repairing electrical equipment.

Electrical Safety Rule No.3

Never handle or operate electrical equipment with wet hand or in wet floor or wet location.

Electrical Safety Rule No.4

Never use faulty electrical equipment, power tools or damaged cords.

Electrical Safety Rule No.5

Use only certified tools with non-conductive handles for electrical repair and maintenance work.

Electrical Safety Rule No.6

For work in electrical circuits and major appliances or electrical machines, follow work permit with LOTO

Electrical Safety Rule No.7

Use only standard electrical equipment and fittings

Electrical Safety Rule No.8

Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as nonconductive gloves, protective cloths, nonconductive safety shoes, etc.

Electrical Safety Rule No.9

Faulty electrical equipment or damaged cord must be repair or replaced or removed immediately.

Electrical Safety Rule No.10

Don’t overload the power sockets by multiple plugs.

Electrical Safety Rule No.11

Repair electrical equipment only by competent electrician.

Electrical Safety Rule No.12

Use only cords of the proper gauge for a particular equipment according to its load requirements.

Electrical Safety Rule No.13

Read the electrical equipment manual before use.

Electrical Safety Rule No.14

Ensure the availability of ELCB or GFC in your electrical circuit and it should be of right rating.

Electrical Safety Rule No.15

Ensure proper grounding or earthing of electrical equipment and electrical circuits.

Electrical Safety Rule No.16

Turn off the equipment immediately if you feel any abnormally, hot plugs or cords

Electrical Safety Rule No.17

Don’t use metal ladders when working with or near power lines.

Electrical Safety Rule No.18

Don’t remove the ground pin as it is responsible for unwanted voltage return to ground.

Electrical Safety Rule No.19

Don’t use an earth connection as a neutral.

Electrical Safety Rule No.20

Don’t insert bare wires into electrical outlets for power.

 

Electrical Safety Check – Industry

👉 Before executing any repair or maintenance job on electrical circuits or equipment in industry, below electrical safety checks can be performed to ensure the safety of peoples and appliances.

👉 What is the voltage where work is planned?

👉 Whether competent electrician or operator available for performing the electric work?

👉 Whether method statement and job safety analysis are carried out for planned job to provide the risk mitigation measures?

👉 Whether all electrical safety measures are communicated to involved peoples?

👉 Whether Work permit and LOTO applicable? If Yes, follow

👉 Whether electrical circuit is protected with GFI for extension cords and portable power tools?

👉 Whether all power tools, cords and connections are inspected before use.

👉 Whether appropriate PPE such as electrically insulated gloves, arc protective apron, 👉 non-conductive shoes, etc. provided to working peoples.

👉 Whether warning safety signages provided at prominent locations.

👉 Whether the working area barricaded to restrict the unauthorized entry.

 

Electrical Safety Check – Home or small offices

👉 Are you aware about power rating or voltage where work is planned?

👉 Are you competent to work on electrical equipment or require qualified electrician?

👉 Have you identified the hazards, assessed the risk and planned the adequate and effective control measures?

👉 Have you positively isolated the electrical circuit or switch offed the power connections?

👉 Whether electrical circuit is protected with GFI for extension cords and portable power tools?

👉 Whether all power tools, cords and connections are inspected before use.

👉 Are your sure that your hands are not wet, and workplace is dry?

👉 Do you have appropriate PPE such as electrically insulated gloves and nonconductive foot wears?

👉 Are you sure that working area is restricted to entry of unauthorized person or kids?

 

Electrical safety in workplace

Electrical safety in workplace should be followed as per applicable codes and standards, best practices and set procedures. Permit to work and LOTO must be followed for all non-routine electrical work including repair, preventive maintenance, predictive maintenance and trouble suiting.

Read more

 

Electrical safety tips

Electrical safety tips are different for different area such as home, offices, workshop and large Industrial area.

In industrial area the installation of electrical equipment and fittings is according to electrical area classification where area is divided into different zones such as Zone-0, Zone-1 and Zone-2. Work is being carried out with set procedure and following the LOTO.

In offices and home, the electrical installation, repair and maintenance work is been carried out by self-control method either through qualified electrician or by competent person. Small repair of electrical equipment can be performed by self if you have good knowledge of electricity, hazards, risk and knowledge of control measures to prevent accidents.

Here are some important Electrical Safety tips for Industrial workplace, home and offices.

READ MORE – ELECTRICAL SAFETY Dos & Don’ts

 

Electrical Safety Tips for Industrial workplace

1. Plan your electrical work well in advance.

2. Prepare the method statement and perform the Job Safety Analysis (JSA). It will help you to list the activities, the associated hazards and to decide on the safety measures.

3. Communicate all identified hazards, risks and safety controls to the involved workforce via Safety Toolbox Talk.

4. Only competent personnel should be engaged in electrical work.

5. Follow the Permit to Work system and LOTO procedure to ensure positive isolation of the power source, prevent accidental energization of circuit / equipment, etc.

6. Use safety signs to warn people.

7. Barricade the work area to restrict unauthorized entry.

8. Inspect all electrical cords, fittings, power tools, hand tools, etc. before each use.

9. Make sure the GFC / ELCB / MCB is in the temporary cord or extension board.

10. Use appropriate personal protective equipment such as electric resistance hand gloves, rubber shoes / electric resistance shoes, arc apron when working on a panel or bus bars, etc.

11. Do not work on a wet surface. Do not lay temporary cord/ or extension cable on ground to prevent trip hazard.

12. Always keep CO2 extinguishers in an accessible place.

13. Know the treatment of first aid for electric shock before engaging manpower in electrical work.

14. Safely restore the system and close the work permit after performing housekeeping.

Read more Electrical safety in Overhead lines work

 

Electrical Safety Tips for Offices

1. Plan the preventive maintenance job well in advance.

2. Engage only qualified electrician for all repair and maintenance electrical work.

3. Ensure isolation of power source before start of repair or maintenance job.

4. For installation new equipment, positive isolation of power source is must.

5. Provide safety warning and caution board at prominent location.

 6. Do not use metallic ladder to access the electrical equipment.

7. Know the voltage rating before planning the job on or near to overhead line.

8. Use safety harness even working with cherry picker.

9. Don’t work with wet hand and on wet surfaces.

10. Use appropriate personal protective equipment.

11. Inspect the portable power and hand tools before each use. Defective tools must be immediately removed or replaced.

12. Ensure RFC/MCB in temporary power cord.

13. Know first aid procedure to treat electrical shock.

 

Electrical Safety Tips for Home

1. Use only standard electrical equipment, appliances and fittings.

2. Installation, repair and maintenance should be performed by a qualified electrician.

3. Do not let children use electrical equipment.

4. The electrical fitting such as sockets, plugs, switches must be installed in such a way that they are not accessible to children and with intrinsic safety.

5. All damaged cables / cords of portable electrical equipment should be repaired or replaced immediately.

6. Do not use electrical devices and connection pins with wet hands.

7. Do not overload outlets by putting more than one plug in the same outlet.

8. If the cables or equipment become overheated, immediately turn off the power.

9. Use insulated hand tools when performing electrical repairs or maintenance.

10. Do not place the extension cord under a rug, carpet or doormat.

11. Immediately place electrical insulating tape over cable joints or damaged insulation.

12. Do not leave portable power tools unattended.

13. Isolate the main power source before performing any repair or maintenance work.

14. Do not remove the plug from outlets or vice versa without first turning off the power.

15. Use appropriate personal protective equipment when performing any electrical work.

16. Bare wire should not be used to connect electrical equipment. Do not use a wooden stick to secure the wire in the plug / socket.

17. Do not use temporary fittings / cord for a long time. Avoid the risk of tripping and the risk of mechanical damage to the cord when laying cables.

 

Electrical Safety Certificate (BS 7671)

The electrical safety certificate is usually issued to demonstrate that the work, such as electrical design, installation, or repair, has been performed in accordance with relevant safety requirements and meets accepted health and safety standards.

The Electrical Safety Certificate is applicable to homes, offices, assembly buildings, commercial buildings and businesses to meet an applicable standard. In the UK, the requirements of BS7671 for electrical installations; It was launched to serve as a guide for electrical installations and to protect against poor workmanship or the use of inferior materials.

This certificate is generally issued at the end of a new electrical installation or after completing repairs to an existing electrical system to demonstrate that the electrical installation has been performed by a qualified electrician and has been inspected and tested in accordance with applicable standards / guidelines.

 

OSHA electrical safety

Electrical work, whether on low or high voltage, is the most dangerous work in industrial workplaces. Therefore, OSHA electrical standards are designed to protect peoples against exposure of electrical hazards and risk such as electrocution, arc flash burns, fires, and explosions.

According to OSHA, all employees, including skilled workers / operators, should be trained and fully familiar with electrical safety procedures. In addition, good judgment and common sense are an integral part of preventing electrical accidents in industrial workplaces.

When working on electrical appliances, equipment or fittings for installation, repair or maintenance, the basic procedures listed below should be followed;

1. Plan the work well in advance, carry out the risk assessment and decide on appropriate and effective safety measures.

2. Deenergized equipment in accordance with LOTO (Lockout and Tagout) procedures to ensure equipment remains deactivated until work is complete.

3. Train people involved in electrical work.

4. Wear insulating protective gear.

5. Keep a safe distance from live parts.

6. Use safety signs to alert peoples, control work and restrict unauthorized entry. 


You may also like to read:

Safe working in Battery room | Industrial Battery maintenance safety Tips

General Safety Tips for Industrial Substations, Panels and Transformers

Electrical Switchyard Safety | Safe Maintenance practices in Switchyard

Safety in Overhead Transmission Lines maintenance work

Temporary Electrical Connections Safety in Hazardous Area

Safety in use of Industrial Power Tools, fixed and portable power machines

How to maintain integrity of Flameproof Electrical Fittings and Equipment during Maintenance

Myths and Misconceptions about Electricity: Electrical Safety Guide

Effects of Electric Current on Human Body: Electrical Safety Guide

22 Common Causes of Electrical Accidents and Electrical Safety Tips

Electrical Safety Rules for Industries under Indian Electricity Rules 1956/2020

Electrical Safety in Workplace – Hazards and Risk

How to control Static Electricity safely in Industrial installations


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