Although everyone uses electricity in the workplace, even a relatively small amount in an electrical outlet has enough power to lead to death by electrocution.
Any contact with exposed circuitry or energized appliances can interfere with the normal electrical signals in the body and lead to electric shock and burns. Additionally, if a shock occurs while an employee is on an elevated surface, muscle contractions or a startled reaction can lead to a dangerous fall.
Keep these simple tips in mind to stay safe around electricity in the workplace:
- Check electrical cords for damage before you plug them in. Cords that are even slightly damaged can lead to electrocutions and fires.
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets by only plugging in one high-wattage appliance at a time.
- Never plug in an appliance while it’s “on” switch is engaged.
- Keep in mind that appliances that are turned off are still connected to electricity until they are unplugged.
- Unplug appliances from outlets by pulling on the plastic plug itself, not the cord.
- Take note if an outlet is unusually warm. This may be a sign that the outlet’s wiring is unsafe, and it should not be used until it has been checked by a certified electrician.
- Never touch an appliance after an electrical accident. Instead, disconnect the power at the source first.
- Never use extension cords as permanent wiring. If your workplace doesn’t have enough electrical outlets to reach all work areas, consider asking your manager to install more.
- Never use electrical appliances in wet or damp conditions.
- Place appliances that generate light or heat away from any flammable materials.
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Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.