May is National Electrical Safety Month
Are your employees following the best safety practices for working with electricity?
Electrical injuries can be serious or even fatal. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data compiled by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI):
- The 154 electrical fatalities that occurred [in U.S. workplaces] during 2016 represent a 15% increase over the 2015 total.
- In 2016, 53% of all fatal electrical injuries occurred in the Construction industry.
- 1,640 nonfatal electrical injuries resulting in days away from work in 2016.
OSHA offers the following best practices for working safely with electricity, including:
- Never touch a fallen overhead power line. Call the electric utility company to report fallen electrical lines.
- Stay at least 10 feet away from overhead wires during cleanup and other activities. If working at heights or handling long objects, survey the area before starting work for the presence of overhead wires.
- If an overhead wire falls across your vehicle while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not leave your vehicle. Warn people not to touch the vehicle or the wire. Call or ask someone to call the local electric utility company and emergency services.
- Never repair electrical cords or equipment unless qualified and authorized.
Remind your workers to put safety first whenever working with or around electricity. Download the HSI infographic on electrical safety and post it in your break room or distribute it at your next safety meeting. You can download the infographic here.
Emergency care in case of electrical burns
Turn off any electrical current before touching the person. If you cannot stop the flow of electricity, do not enter the area around the person or attempt to care for him or her.
If the person affected is responsive and no longer in contact with the electrical source, look for burns at any suspected points of contact. Cool the burn as you would with a thermal burn.
An electric shock can cause an abnormal heart rhythm in which the heart stops moving blood. When it is safe, perform CPR and use an AED if one becomes available.
A person who has received an electrical shock should seek professional medical care because serious internal injuries can occur.
Train your team
HSI offers easy-to-learn online courses to help you keep your electrical workers safe and your company in compliance:
Addresses OSHA 29 CFR 1910.331 - 10910.335
This course helps prevent electrical accidents and fatalities from occurring by teaching your workers basic safety practices for working with or around electricity.
Electrical Safety Construction
Help prevent electrical accidents and fatalities from occurring by teaching your construction workers basic safety practices for working with or around electricity.
Electrical Safety: Controlling the Hazards
Addresses OSHA 29 CFR 1910.331-1910.335
Featuring footage from a variety of workplace settings, this course teaches any classification of worker how to identify potential electrical hazards, as well as how to prevent electrical accidents.
Electrical Safety: High Voltage Safe Work
Addresses OSHA 29 CFR 1910 Subpart S
This course focuses on best safety practices, such as engineering controls, personal protective equipment and safe approach distances, to help keep workers safe when working with or near high-voltage electricity.
Safe Electrical Work Practices & The 2018 NFPA 70E
This video explains the important changes and updates contained in the 2018 NFPA 70E and explains how electrical workers can be protected from both the shock hazard and arc flash hazard presented by exposed energized parts.
Electrical Safety for the Construction Worker
This course enables field-level employees to recognize and promote safe electrical practices in and around the construction site. It addresses site-specific hazards and controls and provides real-world solutions.
For more on HSI’s solutions for workplace safety training, explore our website at www.hsi.com.