Electricity-related injures occur to more than 4,000 workers every day in the United States and frequently these injuries can result in death. May is recognized as National Electrical Safety Month, which aims to educate professionals about electrical hazards and advocate for safe electrical practices. In observance of Electrical Safety Month in May, TPC has outlined some facts about the dangers of working with electricity.
Maintenance activities and personnel who perform them are exposed to numerous workplace hazards that can lead to severe injuries and death. There are four main types of electrical hazards that can be encountered when working with electricity. These hazards include:
- Electrocution (fatal)
- Electric shock
- Falls caused as a result of contact with electrical energy
According to Electrical Safety Foundation International, the US workforce experienced 1,900 nonfatal electrical injuries and 166 fatalities in 2019. Protecting your workers from electrical shock stems from proper training of those working with and around electrical components and tools. It is very important that every employee is properly trained and qualified to perform the duties of their job.
Three of the most cited instances of electrical fatalities are:
- Contact with overhead power lines.
- Contact with wiring, transformers, or other electrical components.
- Contact with electric current of machine, tool, appliance, or light fixture.
The highest electrical fatalities by common industry include:
- Construction and Extraction Occupations: 43%
- Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations: 22%
- Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations: 17%
- Transportations and Material Moving Occupations: 7%
- Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Occupations: 4%
- Management Occupations: 2%
Electricity ranks sixth among all causes of occupational injury in the United States. Along with the proper training, follow these general rules to remain safe while working with electricity:
– Use the correct tools necessary for the job.
– Isolate equipment from energy sources.
– Test all circuits and every conductor before coming into contact with it.
– Perform work on electrical equipment and conductors only when de-energized.
– Use lock out/tag out procedures and ground before working on electrical equipment.
– Treat de-energized electrical equipment and conductors as if they were energized until lockout/tag out, test, and ground procedures are performed.
– Wear necessary protective clothing and equipment and work using insulated tools in areas where there are possible electrical hazards.
TPC offers several forms of electrical training: online training, instructor-led training, and simulation training. For more information on electrical safety training for your workforce, contact a TPC Consultant.