According to the ESFi, economic losses due to electrical hazards exceed $4 billion per year. Even more distressing, electrical hazards cause 4,000 injuries, and are the sixth leading cause of occupational injury. Around 400 individuals die as the result of electrocution each year, 187 of these take place in an occupational setting. Another 400 people die as the result of fires caused by electrical hazards.
The month of May is dedicated to raising awareness of electrical safety, both at home and at work. There are many resources available from the IECI, the CPSC, ccd.gov, the ESFi, and EHS to help homeowners, business owners, and workers remain safe. In observation of National Electrical Safety Month, we are sharing the top tips for remaining safe at home and in the workplace.
Remain safe from electrical hazards at home.
- Steer clear of power lines, especially after storms. Never allow a ladder or any other object to come into contact with a power line.
- Inspect tools and appliances for damaged cords and plugs. Use all appliances, equipment, power strips, and surge protectors according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Do not overload power strips or outlets.
- Use GFCI protection when working near water. Test GFCIs at least monthly and after storms. Avoid damp conditions when using electricity.
- If you have questions about aging wiring in your home, contact a professional to determine whether you need an upgrade. Call Branham Electric at 636-926-2001.
Remain safe from electrical hazards in the workplace.
- Make electrical safety the responsibility of the entire team. Everyone should know basic safety measures and who to contact in the event that they spot a danger.
- Treat all circuits as live until tested by a qualified individual. This resource emphasizes the importance of “test before you touch” procedures, which must completed only by qualified professionals.
- Educate all workers on the importance of observing Lockout/Tagout procedures, which also must be done by properly qualified individuals. OSHA estimates that approximately 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year could be prevented by following Lockout/Tagout.
- Just as at home, use extension cords, appliances, power strips, and equipment properly. Inspect for damage before each use.
- Use Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters to minimize the dangers of old or damaged wires. AFCIs should be installed by a qualified professional, such as Branham Electric.
Remember, when in doubt about your electrical safety at home and in your place of business, contact us at 636-926-2001. We’ve been servicing the St. Louis area for 25 years. We wish you a happy and safe May and beyond.