Steps to Ensure Electrical Safety in the Workplace

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Articles are published everyday about OSHA investigations and citation issuance due to lack of compliance with basic electrical safety measures. Employers often don’t want to take simple, common sense steps to ensure the well being of their workforce due to added budgetary expense or additional time spent on training. Maintaining workforce safety doesn’t have to be difficult if rooted in basic, common sense principles.  Safety needs vary from place to place and each workplace has unique electrical safety issues, but following  basic electrical safety measures is the best way to establish a culture of safety in the workplace.

Working around electricity is prevalent in professions around the world. Thousands of electrical injuries, even fatalities, happen every year due to hazardous work conditions, lack of training and improper use of electrical equipment.

The real key to avoiding dangerous, life threatening conditions on the job is electrical safety awareness. Whether you work at a factory, a utility or on a jobsite as a contractor, anyone who works around electricity must be aware of the risks and safety measures involved, in order to ensure optimal electrical safety.

Starting with basic, common sense principles can help establish a strong electrical safety program.

Basic Electrical Safety Principles:

  • Have a written electrical safety program and communicate it to your team
  • Establish leadership for your electrical safety plan
  • Promote a positive electrical safety culture among your workforce
  • Communicate who is in charge to your workforce, including contractors
  • Provide proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for your entire team
  • Inspect your PPE regularly and replace any damaged or broken electrical safety equipment
  • Identify boundaries for electrically hazardous work areas
  • Use proper signage for electrically hazardous work areas
  • Provide workforce with adequate and regular training for electrical safety
  • Use an outside auditor to ensure electrical safe work conditions
  • Stay up to date on safety standards and regulations through regular training

If you have questions on how to make changes or start your electrical safety program, let us know!

Hugh Hoagland

does research and testing of PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Hugh is a Sr. Consultant at ArcWear and Sr. Partner at e-Hazard. Read more about Hugh.

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