Toolbox talk on electrical safety
Electricity safety prevents electricity hazards from causing injury or harm to persons.
Equally, electrical safety entails good work practices. Good work practices prevent workers from being victims of any electrical hazard in the workplace.
Electrical hazards are burns, electric shock, electrocution, arcing explosions from unsuitable electrical connections, and Falls from height.
Electric shock occurs during contact with electricity in the human body. It can have life-threatening consequences depending on the degree of voltage passing through the human body.
When all the electrical tools are in good condition, a worker can work safely without having any electric shock.
More so, do not operate any electrical equipment near a water source.
The moment a human skin gets into contact with the live electrical cable, burns happen. Burns are an ugly experience to witness on-site as they may even trigger an emotional shock to the person after the incident.
Thermal burns are those that result from the heat of arcing electricity. Fires can as well cause electrical burns from electrical sparks.
Falls from height:
Falls from height are secondary injury effects from an electrical shock incidence when a worker is working at height.
A little shock can even trigger a fall from height. To avoid this from happening, Make sure you incorporate fall prevention strategies.
When there is an electric shock, it can become electrocution. How does this happen? Electrocution happens when an electric current entering the human body is strong enough to interfere with the human heart, stopping the heart and causing severe injury leading to death.
If the electric shock happens with the overhead power line, it can easily result in electrocution. That’s why it’s good to maintain safety anywhere around the overhead power line.
More importantly, all-electric wiring on site must be safe by having correct wiring, fuses and circuit breakers.
No one should cut corners in any matter involving electrical safety on site.
Electrical Safety: What can we do to promote electrical safety today?
- Make sure you read the instruction manual for electrical equipment before use.
- Always inspect all portable electrical tools before mobilizing them for work from the store.
- Always check for defective cords, and broken or bent plugs.
- Never alter a plug. Repair all defective plugs with a certified competent person.
- Ensure that the plugs match the outlet.
- Do not fasten electrical cords with staples.
- Do no work with any electrical equipment that is not insulated or grounded. The electrical equipment uninsulated will pass a current through the human body and cause damage when there is contact with a person.
- Ensure that the cables are not in wet floor areas or damp environments.
- Always use electric tools with a dry hand.
- Do not stand in wet places or locations while using electric tools.
- Avoid using metal ladders around live electricity as the ladders may conduct electricity when there is a contact.
- If an existing barrier or signage promotes safe behaviours around live electrical power sources, always obey them.
- Be careful when using your tools around flammable liquids as this may serve as a source of ignition for the flammable liquids to start a fire.
- Consider using a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) on all your construction sites. GFCI is a safety device (a circuit breaker) positioned between the power tool and the power source. It shuts down the electrical power when there is an electrical fault.
- Always use the right tools when handling or repairing any power tools.
- Inspect all power tools monthly and maintain the records regularly.
- Make sure that all electrical equipment and appliances are suitable for their purpose.
- Inspect all portable tools before taking them up at a height for working.
- When someone is under an electric shock, Avoid touching them with your bare hands until the power source is off as this may cause an electric shock for you.
- All electrical accessories must be the correct type.
- Avoid shortcuts whenever an electrical power tool is concerned and ensure you preach to others to maintain the same for themselves.
- Get an expert electrician to attend to all your power needs. Do not embark on that role yourself except if you have training as an electrician.
- Do not operate any electrical tool near a water source.
Onyeka Emma is a QHSE Professional, a business person, and an entrepreneur. He is very passionate about health and safety, Business and Entrepreneurship.