As a source of energy, electricity is used without much thought about the hazards it can cause. Because electricity is a familiar part of our lives, it often is not treated with enough caution. As a result, an average of one worker is killed via electrocution on the job every day of every year!
Whenever you work with power tools or on electrical circuits there is a risk of electrical hazards, especially electrical shock. Anyone can be exposed to these hazards at home or at work. Workers are exposed to more hazards because job sites can be cluttered with tools and materials, fast-paced, and open to the weather. Risk is also higher at work because many jobs involve electric power tools.
Electrical wiring and equipment present a number of potential hazards, including:
- Electric shock/burns
- Destruction of property
Basic Safety Rules for Electricity
- Restrict work on live parts to qualified/certified workers.
- De-energize all electrical circuits and equipment before working on them. This means shutting off the source of electricity so the current cannot flow into the part. Never assume wiring or equipment is de-energized. OSHA regulations state you must test or otherwise prove it.
- Lockout and tagout the electrical power source so it cannot be re-energize accidentally.
- Wear the right PPE, such as insulated gloves, non-conducting headgear, and eye protection.
- Use insulating tools.
- Prevent accidental contact with live parts in places where you can't see what you are doing.