A Complete Electrical Safety Checklist for Office Workers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently disclosed in a nationwide survey that about 76,000 workers are disabled due to serious shock and burn injuries every year. Almost every process in any office today relies on equipment that runs on power and is potentially hazardous if improperly used or not maintained regularly. Does your office culture ensure electrical safety from hazards that expose workers to shocks, fires, and burns caused by faulty electrical wiring, unsafe installations, frayed cords, substandard power trips, and defective equipment? Print this checklist, pin it to your bulletin board and follow it to keep your office safe from electrical hazards:

1. Ensure that every single piece of equipment, machine, and device is double insulated and appropriately grounded.

2. Make sure that no outlet is overloaded at any time.

3. Do not plug bars with multiple outlets to other multi-outlet bars.

4. Do not use any equipment with wet hands.

5. Check all the power strips to ensure they are not overloaded and place them in well-ventilated areas for adequate heat dispersion.

6. Never plug grounded cords into ungrounded outlets.

7. Do not bind or knot electrical cords and do not hide them under carpets where chairs can roll over them.

8. Unplug every device and gadget when it is not in use to save more energy and eliminate the risk of fire and shocks.

9. Use the correct couplers, connectors, and electrical wires and cables to join lengths instead of taping any joints.

10. Have every installation checked and maintained periodically by a competent electrician.

11. Cut off power in an emergency situation.

12. Ensure that fuses are correctly fitted and functional at all times.

13. Inspect fixed installations for visible signs of damage and defects that can lead to danger.

14. Do not use any equipment near hot surfaces or wet areas.

15. Always unplug electrical cords by gripping the plug. Never pull the cord because this can be hazardous.

16. Make sure there are no electrical cords running through high-traffic areas and pedestrian aisles.

17. If any piece of equipment or machine is making unusual sounds; emitting smoke or sparks; or the surface feels abnormally hot, do not ignore the signs and report the matter immediately.

18. Ensure that every piece of equipment, cable, cord, outlet, and power strip being used in the office is from a reliable brand and approved by a national testing laboratory.

19. Disconnect and unplug every piece of equipment and machinery that is being repaired or serviced.

20. Even when a surge protector is employed for protection, have an electrician test whether the circuit is efficiently handling the electric load.

21. Even if an outlet can supply power to multiple appliances, never use two high wattage appliances simultaneously.

22. If any additional outlet needs to be installed in the office, hire a licensed and certified electrician for the purpose.

23. If any cord is twisted, frayed, cracked, or damaged, replace it immediately.

24. Unless a plug is the molded type, have every portable gadget and device labeled as double insulated with the live and neutral connected appropriately.

25. Every time an RCD (residual current device) trips, check the entire system for flaws before you put it to use again, And if the RCD trips frequently, have it inspected by an experienced technician.

Electrical hazards cause more than 140,000 fires every year that result in more than 4,000 fatal injuries and 400 deaths, over and above property damage that runs into billions of dollars. Proper employee training and use of personal protective equipment play a crucial role in avoiding electrical fatalities every day at work. Fortunately, most of the electrical hazards can be easily controlled with a little caution and periodic checks. This should include a standard system of visual inspection and testing of electrical materials wherever necessary. Workers can help by reporting any defect or damage they come across.

Jeson Pitt, a professional electrician, has a deep love for electrical products and their working. He regularly shares his thoughts about advanced electrical technologies that are evolving around the globe. You can visit his website at http://www.dfliq.net/ if you are interested in buying or selling electrical surplus goods.

Posted on Jun 22, 2017


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