Every workplace has a responsibility to make sure their staff are safe from various hazards. This includes electrical hazards which can cause serious injuries, or worse. Accidents can be avoided by managing risks and following several basic tenets such as organising preventative maintenance on a regular basis and training staff on how to identify faults or respond to emergency situations. A qualified commercial electrician in Melbourne can provide reliable advice on how to minimise electrical hazards in the workplace, some of which are detailed in this article.
Organise Preventative Maintenance
Electrical risks can be controlled with a simple and inexpensive system of preventative maintenance that includes reporting, inspecting and testing. Users should be encouraged to report defects of any kind, including damage to cables, wires and cords. These can then be inspected and tested by a trained electrician who can safety and competently conduct repairs or organise replacements as required. Fixed installations should be periodically assessed based on the frequency with which they are operated.
Avoid Overhead Power Lines
The high voltages transmitted through overhead power lines present significant dangers to people who work within close proximity to them. Maintaining a distance of at least ten feet is extremely important to reducethe risk of major burns and electrocution. Site surveys can be conducted to ensure that the area beneath overhead power lines is sufficiently clear. In addition, safety signs and barriers can be erected to warn non-electrical workers of nearby dangers.
Maintain Proper Grounding
It is incredible how often a commercial electrician in Melbourne reports that electrical equipment is improperly grounded. These simple oversights can have serious consequences that result in serious injuries or fatalities. Complying with OH&S regulations regarding the grounding of electrical equipment dramatically reduces the risk of electrocution because it limits the maximum voltage to 55 volts. Returning excess voltage to the ground is done via the metallic ground pin, which shouldn’t be removed.
Avoid Wet Conditions
Water conducts electricity, which is why electrical equipment should never be used in wet conditions. Electrocution is far more likely in these situations, especially if the equipment or tools being used have damaged insulation. If electrical equipment has gotten wet, a commercial electrician in Melbourne can be brought in to inspect it and make sure it’s safe to use before starting it up.
Train Your Staff
Training your staff can go a long way to minimising electrical hazards in the workplace. This includes instructing them on how to use low-risk electrical equipment correctly, ensuring they’re extensively trained to operate high-risk equipment, spotting faults before use, knowing how to respond to an emergency, and being trained in CPR if an accident does occur.
There’s no substitute for being conscious of and responsible for workplace electrical hazards. Employers are encouraged to use the correct cable connectors, get equipment maintained by a professional on a regular basis, install overload protections for power boards, minimise the use of adaptors to prevent socket outlet overloads, and have emergency shutdown switches for fixed electrical equipment.