May is National Electrical Safety Training Month, which makes it a good time to review your electrical safety training program. Today’s Advisor gives you a refresher on the requirements for each employee group.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) delineates the different types of employees who work with or around electricity and what their respective training requirements are. This month is a good time to review your electrical safety training content for each group of employees to make sure it covers all the bases.
Here’s a quick list for each employee group:
Do Qualified Workers:
- Know how to identify exposed live parts and their voltage?
- Follow proper safety procedures for working on or near exposed live parts?
- Wear the proper personal protective equipment?
- Use insulated tools and insulating and shield materials?
- Whenever possible, de-energize all electrical circuits and equipment before working on them?
Do Unqualified Workers:
- Understand the risks of energized equipment?
- Know what tasks can be done only by qualified workers?
- Know how to protect themselves and others when they work around electricity?
- Always respect warning signs and barriers designed to protect them from live parts?
Do All Workers:
- Inspect electrical tools before each use?
- Report any electrical tool, equipment, or wire problems immediately?
- Remove from service any equipment with frayed wires or other signs of damage?
- Read and follow manufacturer’s instructions for electrical equipment?
- Match plugs and outlets (e.g., 3-pronged plugs go in 3-pronged outlets only)?
- Always use waterproof cords outdoors?
- Remember not to carry portable power equipment by the cord or unplug it by pulling on the cord?
- Always make sure their hands are dry before operating electrical tools or equipment?
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Why It Matters
- Every year in the United States, workplace electrical incidents result in more than 300 deaths.
- In addition, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 4,000 injuries caused by workplace electrical incidents.
- While electrical hazards are not the leading cause of workplace injuries and fatalities, they can cause fatalities and serious injuries, both of which can be costly for employers and families.