Electrical Hazards: How To Protect Your Business

When you own a business, your employees' and customers' safety become your responsibility. There are many hazards in the workplace, including electrical hazards. Here are some things to know about protecting your business from such hazards.

What are the OSHA standards?

The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) has its own set of guidelines in place to show businesses exactly what their biggest hazards are and how to avoid them. In terms of electrical hazards, OSHA a variety of tips for different industries who are at the greatest risk of electrocution and various other types of dangers. They offer tips for things like machinery, enclosures, controls, switches, and lighting. It is important to check with OSHA to find out the guidelines for your industry specifically. 

How do you avoid different electrical hazards?

There are some general rules that should e followed in order to avoid certain electrical hazards in the workplace. The following tips help you avoid the more common dangers in terms of your property's electrical system: 

  1. Avoid frayed or sparking wires. Don't even attempt to remove them or unplug them. If you have wires that are frayed, contact an electrician right away.
  2. Leave overhead or fallen power lines alone. You should never touch them or come into contact with them. Make sure your employees avoid them as well. If power lines have fallen, call your local utility company.
  3. If you restore the power after it was out and you see sparks, turn the power back off and call an electrician. If the power is off due to a storm, you shouldn't restore it at all until you are sure no wires are in contact with water from the storm.
  4. Get your electrical system maintained regularly. Call an electrician about once a year or so to inspect your building's electrical system. This prevents many hazards you weren't aware of.

Is your electrical panel outdated?

In addition to these tips, you should also check your business property's electrical panel. If it is outdated, it poses a number of different electrical hazards. If your electrical panel has flickering lights, melted electrical wires, or breakers that blow often, it is probably time for an upgrade. You should also get a new electrical panel if you have to turn off some appliances inside your offices in order to use another appliance.

What if someone is electrocuted?

One of the bigger electrical hazards in the workplace is the risk of an employee getting electrocuted. In this event, it is important to remain calm and follow the proper guidelines. Here are some tips to follow if this happens:

  • Do not touch the person who was electrocuted. There is still the risk of static electricity or that they are in contact with the source of electricity, so leave them there and call 911 right away.However, if they show signs of shock, try to gently lay them down.
  • Look around for the source of electricity. If you find the problem and believe you can safely do so, disconnect it. However, if you aren't sure what the hazard is, keep an eye on the person that was electrocuted, but remain a safe distance away.
  • Avoid touching any blisters, burns, or burned clothing that are a result of the electrocution.

If you follow these tips, you will be able to get them help without causing danger to anyone else in the vicinity. For assistance with making sure the electrical system in your  business is safe and up to date, contact a local electric company like Chadwick Electric Services.