Safety in the workplace must always be a the primary consideration for employer and employees alike. Electrical safety training is critical. It is specially of great consequence for those who set up and repair electrical resources because electricity is inherently dangerous. Nobody can restore a employee or cherished family member who has been killed in an accident or suffered the irreparable consequences of an electrical calamity in the workplace.
No matter how hard you as a boss attempt to protect your workers or what degree of safety training is given; the basic responsibility lies with the worker, and always will do. The human part is share of every accident or injury. Nevertheless, if electrical machinery features prominently in the working environment of which you have charge, electrical safety training is of paramount, even life-saving, importance.
The purpose of this piece is to classify electrical safety hazards and to impart ways to diminish or prevent their consequences. It is all about improving electrical safety and contains generalised information about governmental policy, industry-accepted standards and work practices. It posits ways to meet the mandatory standards and downgrade the hazards.
If elements of the standards, regulations, and codes especially relating to electrical safety are quoted or summarized, it is still the responsibility of the user to comply with all applicable standards in their entirety.
Why is Electrical Safety Training so Important?
Electrical hazards have always been recognized, yet severe injuries, deaths, and property impairment happen daily. Organizations like the US Department of Labor and the National Safety Council compile figures and facts on a regular basis. The following table demonstrates the importance of electrical safety.
Electrical Safety FACTS from the USA…
- 97% of all electricians have been shocked or injured on the job.
- Approximately 30,000 workers receive electrical shocks yearly.
- Over 3 00 disabling electrical contact injuries occur annually.
- Electrocutions are the 4th leading cause of traumatic occupational fatalities.
- Over 2000 workers are sent to burn centers each year with severe Arc-Flash burns.
- Estimates show that 10 Arc-Flash incidents occur every day in the USA.
- 0% of workplace accident deaths are caused by burn injuries.
- Over 1000 electrical workers die each year from workplace accidents.
- Medical costs per person can exceed $4 million for severe electrical burns.
- Total costs per electrical incident can exceed $15 million.
- In the year 2002, work injuries cost Americans $14. billion.
The moral obligation to protect workers who may be exposed to electrical hazards is fundamental, but there are legal and other factors that require every facility to establish a comprehensive Electrical Safety Program.
Meeting Central and Local Government requirements and regulations, reducing insurance costs, and minimizing downtime and repair costs are additional benefits of Electrical Safety programs. When electrical faults occur, the electrical system is subjected to both thermal and magnetic forces. These forces can severely damage equipment and are accompanied by fires, explosions and severe arcing. Such violent damage often causes death or severe injury to personnel.
Costs of repairs, equipment replacements, and medical treatment can run into millions of dollars. Loss of production and damaged goods are also important considerations. Other major factors include the cost of Government fines and litigation. Severe electrical faults may shut down a complete process or assembly plant, sending hundreds or thousands of workers home for weeks while repairs are being made.
It is also possible that one tragic event could close a plant permanently.
Implementing and following a well designed Electrical Safety Program will protect employees and employers against:
- Injury to personnel;
- Governemnt sanctions, citations and/or fines
- Increased costs for insurance and worker compensation;
- Lost or unusable materials;
- Unplanned equipment repair or replacement costs;
- Multi-million dollar lawsuits;
- Possible bankruptcy,
Clearly, no sane employer welcomes the idea that their business could go bust tomorrow, but it could if your workforce does not recognize the importance of Electrical Safety, and receive appropriate electrical safety training so they know what they are doing, and therefore stay safe.