Electrical hazards exist in any workplace – whether you work in an office or a warehouse, you’ll still need to keep an eye out for any potentially dangerous situations. If electrical hazards in the workplace are left unresolved, or employees are unaware of them, it can easily lead to accidents such as electrocution, fires, or worse. This article lists the most common electrical hazards, and explains how to avoid them, so that everyone will know what to look out for, and then any risks can be quickly dealt with by a professional electrician.
1.) Wet Conditions
Everyone knows that electrical equipment and water don’t mix. So it makes sense that one of the electrical hazards you should look out for at work is people using electric tools in wet or damp conditions – unless the equipment is designed for it. This issue is more likely to occur in a warehouse or outdoor workplace, where you have to watch for outside factors. If your electrical items have become wet, make sure you have an electrician inspect them before turning them on again.
2.) Damaged Equipment
Broken equipment such as faulty tools, or wires and cables that are cracked and frayed, can be a major hazard in the workplace because they are likely to cause an accident. You can avoid breaking your electrical cords by not running them through doorways, under the carpet, or over sharp materials, and by using cable protection ramps and covers if they must be in a risky area. Also, if you notice a tool is not working properly and seems dangerous, stop using it and follow proper procedures.
3.) Inadequate Insulation
If electrical cords aren’t properly insulated they can be a fire hazard as well as an electrocution waiting to happen. This is an especially common hazard for an office workplace, as there are countless wires and cords that you need to contend with. So if you notice that one is exposed, don’t just cover it with tape, invest in a professional to come and fix it. Also, make sure you immediately report the problem, turn off the power, and remove the equipment from service.
4.) Extension Cords & Overloaded Outlets
Overloaded outlets and inadequate extension cords are both frequent problems in many workplaces because they can overheat and become a fire hazard. In offices especially, it’s important to make sure you aren’t using multiple adapters for one powerpoint – this can happen when you have several desks plugging their computers and other equipment into the same power board. Also, in other workplaces which require heavy-duty cables to transfer large amounts of power, ensure you aren’t using an inadequate extension cord that can’t handle the amount.
5.) Exposed Electrical Items
If your workplace has any exposed electrical parts around – such as detached insulation on cords, open power distribution units, or temporary lighting – then it’s important you cover them up as soon as possible. It’s easy to put it off, especially when there are so many other jobs in a workplace, but these exposed electrical items are dangerous and can cause shocks and burns. Make sure you cover them up with the correct guarding mechanisms and repair any broken parts.
6.) Power Lines Overhead
In warehouse environments, there are often power lines overhead which need to be treated with caution. These energised electrical lines have high voltages and are a workplace hazard because they can cause severe burns or electrocution. You can make these power lines less of a hazard by installing safety barriers and signs to warn non-electrical workers, and by carrying out site surveys to make sure there isn’t anything stored under the power lines.
7.) Incorrect Grounding
Improper grounding is a common electrical hazard in the workplace, and it’s a violation of health and safety controls. It’s of vital importance that the job is completed correctly because grounding is used to release unwanted electrical voltage in order to protect employees from electrocution. Make sure no one takes the metallic grounding pin out of the ground, as this will stop it from eliminating the extra voltage.
8.) Amatuer Electrical Work
When it comes to electrical safety, the most dangerous thing you can do in any workplace is let an amateur complete any electrical installations or repairs. Don’t just believe an employee when they tell you they ‘know exactly’ what to do, and don’t be tempted to take the easy way out so you can save money – for your employees’ safety, always choose a professional.
Benefits of Hiring a Professional Commercial Electrician
If you notice any of these electrical hazards in your workplace, then it’s time to call an expert. A qualified commercial electrician in Perth will be able to check the workplace for safety compliance, bring old wiring up-to-date, install more powerpoints, and complete a variety of other necessary checks that will ensure the premises is safe and secure. Electrical equipment can be quite dangerous, so choosing a professional to fix any issues that arise is always the best option.