Don’t be careless with electricity.
May is National Electrical Safety Month, which makes this the perfect time to review these electrical safety precautions:
- Inspect work areas daily for such hazards as flickering lights, warm switches or receptacles, sticking switches, burning odors, loose connections, and damaged wires.
- Report problems to a supervisor immediately.
- Leave repairs and adjustments to authorized personnel.
- Select proper cords and connectors for each job as well as portable cords that are suitable in terms of gauge size, flexibility, strength, and ability to withstand chemicals.
- Make sure electrical equipment is grounded.
- Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) in wet areas and outdoors.
- Disconnect energy sources before performing maintenance and repairs. Lock out and tag out the disconnected power sources.
- Don’t use a metal ladder or wear a metal hard hat around electricity.
- Avoid touching anything electric when your hands are wet, when you’re standing on a wet floor, or when you’re in contact with a wet surface.
- Don’t overload outlets or circuits.
- Use an ABC or CO2 fire extinguisher on electrical fires; never use water.
Test your safety sense: Are you safety smart?
To be safe on the job, you have to be smart. You have to use your common sense, follow the rules, and be careful. Take this test to check your safety smarts.
1. Encourage co-workers to work safely by:
a. Criticizing their mistakes b. Complimenting them on safe behavior
2. When using personal protective equipment (PPE):
a. Inspect it before each use. b. Use only if you think you’re at risk.
3. If you have a “gut feeling” that something’s wrong:
a. Ignore it and be logical rather than emotional. b. Recheck your safety precautions.
4. If you see a co-worker doing something unsafe:
a. Mind your own business. b. Talk with the co-worker about it.
5. Which of these statements about workplace safety is true?
a. You have the power to prevent accidents. b. There’s little you can do to prevent accidents.
6. Using your common sense to protect your safety means:
a. Knowing the hazards b. Following your own safety rules
7. If you see a safety hazard:
a. Avoid it and go on working. b. Report it to your supervisor.
Answers: (1) b (2) a (3) b (4) b (5) a (6) a (7)b