While safety standards and practices have improved considerably in the past two decades within the industrial workplace, it does not mean that the quest for improving safety ends there. There are those out there who are still being injured or even killed because they were ignorant of how to properly handle deadly equipment. Anyone who has worked with electrical equipment for many years can attest to this.
Therefore, it is important that a safe industrial electrical workplace is maintained at all times. This requires an ongoing effort from every single employee of every rank. Here are some important tips you can follow to ensure everyone’s safety, including yours:
Ensure that electrical safety training efforts are up to speed.
You will be surprised to hear that there are still companies out there that do not take a proactive effort to properly train their employees. Some people get complacent with the training and skim over the slides so they can say that they have done the training. They view safety training as an “administrative” part of the job that doesn’t need any significant amount of attention. Many investigations following an injury have revealed that the injured employees in question were indeed complacent with their training.
It is simply not enough to offer some form of electrical safety training. Participants need to be actively engaged in the process, and checks must be put in place to ensure that workers have truly learned how to safely work with electrical equipment. For example, you could have a quiz at the end of each training session that tests students on their knowledge of the material. You will spend more money and time treating and investigating an injury, compared to ensuring that people properly learn the necessary safety protocols and standards.
Regularly check your wiring for any faults or dangers.
The wiring in your workplace needs to be set up in a way that injuries are prevented and equipment is not damaged. It needs to be checked frequently for any performance faults, damage, or exposure to heat and/or moisture. If there are any extension cords lying around, they should include ground wires, and all of your electrical equipment should be grounded properly.
Cleaning up and organizing your wiring also ensures that equipment, such as electrical panels, is easy to access. You should not have to jump over or maneuver your way through any kind of obstacle.
Purchase your equipment from reliable suppliers.
Sometimes, a company may have to buy used equipment in order to save on limited funds. However, your safety is at risk if you use this kind of equipment without checking it first. Look for suppliers that provide a warranty on used or reconditioned products and provide some sort of verification that the equipment is working properly. Of course, you will be responsible for inspecting the equipment and testing it for any faults before you implement it as part of your regular work.
Turn off all electrical equipment before you leave.
This one might seem like a no-brainer, yet it happens more often than you would expect. Leaving equipment running for too long can lead to overheating, and this makes your equipment vulnerable to becoming a potential fire hazard. Add in varying weather conditions that might have your workplace being a little more humid than usual, and you have a recipe for a disaster!
You can easily prevent this error from happening by designating somebody to do a final check of all electrical equipment in the workplace before they leave. It will only take a few extra minutes, and you can go home with a sound mind.
Make sure that plugs fit securely and properly.
An absolute no-no in industrial electrical safety is having plugs that are loose-fitting when plugged into the outlet. This is usually how equipment overheats and catches fire. You want to make sure that the plug fits securely into the outlet. At the same time, you should never try to force a plug into an outlet.
These basic tips are easy to implement and will save you a lot of wasted money and time in the form of safety investigations that should not have been necessary. If you are unsure of where you can create a safer electrical industrial workplace, consult a licensed professional to assist you.