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ELECTRICAL SAFETY

Hazard Recognition:
There are several ways to recognize hazards including : inspecting work places, investigating
accidents/incidents, keeping material safety data sheets, analyzing job safety and observing work
processes.
Hazards are evaluated based on risk, meaning the potential probability and severity of loss to
people, equipment, materials and environment. There are several ways to control hazards.
However , the order of preference is
1. Engineering controls:

Elimination completely removing the hazard

Substitution replacing the hazard with the less hazardous one

Isolation separating workers from the hazard

2. Administrative controls
3. Personal Protective Equipment(PPE)
The following is a list of common electrical hazards:

Improper grounding

Exposed electrical parts

Inadequate wiring

Overhead power lines

Overloaded circuits

Wet conditions

Damaged tools and equipment

Improper grounding:

Grounding is the process used to eliminate the unwanted current. A ground is a physical
electrical connection to the earth. Electrical Equipment must be properly grounded. Grounding
reduces the risk of being shocked, burned or electrocuted. The ground pin safely returns leakage
current to ground. Never remove the ground pin.
Effects of Electricity on the Human Body:
The effect that an electric shock has on your body depends on the path that the current flows
through your body. This is because the body components such as your skin, fatty tissues, muscles
and bones have different resistances that vary with external influences, such as if your skin is
wet or dry as wet skin has a lower resistance than dry skin, the amount of contact surface area
and the contact pressure. The duration of the shock and the frequency of the voltage also
determine the effect that the shock has on your body. The extent of the Electric shock can vary
from individual to individual due to each persons unique physiology.
Involuntary muscular contraction can occur at low levels of current and can lead to physical
actions such as falling off ladders which will then lead to more serious physical injuries. One of
the problems with electrocution is the failure for the victim to let go of the conductor or
appliance because of muscular contraction.
Electrical Hazard Protection:
There are some ways to prevent Electrical Hazards. They are as follows:
1. Have only licensed electricians install, repair and dismantle jobsite wiring. That way,
everything will be completed according to electrical safety codes, ensuring greater protection for
the workers who will be using the wiring to power tools and equipment. Bringing in a
professional electrician also prevents the injuries that result when less-qualified individuals
attempt electrical jobs that they arent properly trained to do.
2. Always plug into a GFCI. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter protection is required at every
plug-in point associated with your jobsites temporary electrical supply right down to extension
cords. Make sure that only GFCI receptacles are installed, and that portable GFCIs are kept on
hand in case additional grounding needs arise.
3. Check each extension cord before use. Ensure that insulation is completely intact (free from
cracks, tears, or abrasion) and that power extension cables havent been knotted, which can cause
conductor damage and increase the risk of fire.
4. Do a thorough check for electrical wiring before cutting through any wall, floor or
ceiling. Any time that a tool inadvertently makes contact with an unseen electrical line, the

person holding that tool is likely to be shocked or electrocuted. Always size up the situation
before you get started to reduce your risk of injury.
5. Inspect power tools on a regular basis. Look over the tools power cords and plugs for any
sign of damage to the insulation, blades, or grounding pin. If you find signs of excessive wear
and tear, take tools out of commission until theyve been properly repaired. Maintain awareness
during electrical tool use as well; if a tool starts to overheat, smoke, give off a burning smell, or
shock you on contact, discontinue use immediately.
6. Check insulated tools for damage before each use. Once the insulation layer of an insulated
hand tool becomes nicked, cracked or cut, the tool is no longer effectively insulated it actually
becomes more of an electrical conductor, and can increase your risk of injury. If a tool has
damaged insulation, it is no longer safe to use destroy and replace it right away.
7. Never modify electrical plugs. Under no circumstances should you ever file down the blades,
remove the ground pin, or otherwise modify an electrical plug so that it will fit into a socket
doing so only increases the likelihood of shock, electrocution, and fire. Either have a certified
electrician change the devices plug, or replace outdated two-prong receptacles with grounded
outlets that can accommodate a ground pin.
8. Keep extension cords in a safe place where they wont be stepped on or driven over. The
force of a vehicle or even repeated treading by pedestrians can cause an extension cords
conductor to become misshapen or break, a problems that can lead to electrical fires. Because it
occurs in the core of the cable, conductor damage isnt always obvious to the eye, so play it safe
from the start by guarding jobsite extension cords with heavy-duty cord covers.
9. Ensure that all electrical components stay dry. Its one of the cardinal rules of electrical
safety: dont mix electricity and water. Store power tools and cables above water level when not
in use, cover outdoor receptacles, and never use electrically powered tools in a wet environment.
10. Use the right extension cord for the job. Before you plug in, make sure that the wattage
rating of the extension cord youre using is greater than the pull (or power requirement) of the
equipment its powering. Using an extension cord to supply more wattage than its rated for can
cause conductor strain, overheating, and possibly even fire.
Insulation:

Building insulation, added to buildings for comfort and energy efficiency

Soundproofing, also known as acoustic insulation, any means of reducing the intensity of
sound

Thermal insulation, materials used to reduce the rate of heat transfer

Insulator (electrical), the use of material to resist the flow of electric current and
magnetism

Insulated glass (energy saving)

Grounding:
Grounding is the process used to eliminate unwanted current. A ground is a physical connection
to the earth. This allows leakage current to dissipate to the ground instead of going through the
worker and possibly causing an injury.
In electrical engineering, ground or earth can refer to the reference point in an electrical
circuit from which voltages are measured, a common return path for electric current, or a direct
physical connection to the Earth.

Guarding:
Electrical systems must be guarded to prevent inadvertent contact with live conductors. The
following are requirements for guarding live electrical parts:

Live parts to electrical equipment operating at 50 volts or more above ground must be
guarded against accidental contact;

Proper guarding can be achieved by use of an approved cabinet or other approved


enclosure or by location in a room or vault that is accessible to qualified persons only;
and
If electrical equipment is located in an area where it is potentially exposed to physical
damage, the enclosure or guard must be of sufficient strength to prevent such damage.

Electrical Protective Devices:


Equipment applied to electrical power system to detect abnormal and intolerable conditions and
to initiate appropriate corrective actions. These devices include lightening arresters, surge
protectors, fuses, and relays with associated circuit breakers.
From time to time disturbances in the normal operation of a power system occur. These may be
caused by natural phenomena such as lightning, wind or snow, by falling objects such as tree, by
accidental means traceable to reckless drivers, or by conditions produced in the system itself
such as switching surges, load swings or equipment failure. Protective devices therefore must be
installed on power systems to ensure continuity of electrical service, to limit injury to people and
to limit damage to equipment when problem situation develops. Protective devices are applied
commensurately with the degree of protection desired or felt necessary for the particular system.
Appliances:
Household appliances can experience overload, short circuit and voltage transients, which may
impede reliable operation. Circuit Protection solutions from TE help you meet regulatory
standards and minimize returns.

Automotive:
Automotive electronics components and motor drives require protection against overvoltage,
transient voltage and dangerous thermal runaway conditions. TE Circuit Protection has a broad
offering of protection devices that meet stringent AEC-Q standards.

Batteries:

Volatile battery chemistries such as Li-ion require protection against overloads, short circuit
conditions and voltage transients. TE Circuit Protection has a wide range of solutions to meet
your battery protection needs.

Personal Protective Equipment:


PPE for electrical hazards include:

hardhats

rubber or insulating gloves rated for the electrical hazards at the worksite.

insulating clothing

Use appropriate rubber insulating gloves.


Never use damaged PPE
Make sure the gloves fit properly.
Make sure the glove rating matches with the work to be performed.
Not all gloves can be used to prevent electric shock.
Hard hats offer protection.
Hard hats are rated for certain uses.
Metal hard hats SHOULD NOT be used when working close to electrical lines.

Work Practices:
De-energization of electrical equipment provides the highest level of safety when servicing or
maintaining electrical equipment. Working on live electrical parts should be avoided when
possible and should only be performed in the following two scenarios:
1. De-energizing the equipment creates additional hazards, such as shutdown of hazardous
ventilation systems or life safety systems; and
2. Equipment must be energized to allow for testing that can only be performed live.
Only employees that are qualified persons are allowed to work on live electrical parts that are 50
V or higher. Qualified persons must perform live electrical work in compliance with the most
current National Fire Protection Association 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace
(NFPA 70E).
The following work practices must be followed when working on live electrical parts:

Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be used when required;


Conductive apparel (watches, bracelets, rings, key chains, necklaces, zippers, cloth with
conductive thread, etc.) must not be worn;
Non-conductive hand tools must be used and must be rated for the voltage at which live
electrical work is being performed;
Barricades and signage must be posted a safe distance away from the work area and
unqualified persons must not be allowed in the work area;
Conductive materials and tools must be kept a safe distance away from live electrical
parts; and
Electrical equipment must be restored to safe conditions and all safeguards must be
replaced when work is complete.

When electrical equipment is not required to be live during servicing or maintenance work,
equipment should be de-energized in accordance with the Lockout/Tagout policy.
Ladders made from conductive materials such as aluminum or steel pose an electrocution hazard
when working around overhead power lines. Refer to the Ladder Safety policy for requirements
when using ladders around live overhead power lines or when performing live electrical work.
Confined spaces with live, exposed electrical parts are considered permit-required confined
spaces. Work inside these spaces must be conducted in accordance with the Confined Space
policy.
Policy
Electrical equipment shall be operated and installed and electrical work shall be performed in
accordance with this policy.

Authority and Responsibility


Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Assisting supervisors with complying with this policy;


Conducting inspections to ensure compliance with this policy;
Arrange for basic electrical safety training; and
Annually reviewing and updating, if necessary, this policy.

Department supervisors with employees affected by this program are responsible for:
1. Ensuring employees comply with all requirements of this policy;
2. Determining the level of electrical safety training required for their employees;
3. Providing employees with all the tools and equipment necessary to comply with this
policy; and
4. Ensuring that Unqualified and Qualified employees complete Basic Electrical Safety
Training.
Employees are responsible for:
1. Complying with all aspects of this program;
2. Not performing electrical work for which they are not trained;
3. Only performing on work on live electrical parts, greater than 50 volts, only when
necessary;
4. Following the Lockout/Tagout program; and
5. Completing required training.
Facilities Unit is responsible for:
1. Ensuring that electrical installations for new facilities are compliant with the

requirements in this policy.

Types of fire and rescuing methods:


Building fires
We fight fires in every sort of building: peoples homes, in high rise office buildings, factories,
shops, schools, restaurants, hotels, electrical substations, sporting facilities, scout halls and
museums.
In all building fires, the priority is to save lives. Firefighters are trained to search a burning
building, wearing breathing apparatus to protect themselves from the smoke, and rescue any
occupants. In homes, this includes searching in and under beds, in cupboards or behind furniture
or anywhere else where someone may have fallen or hidden. In high rise buildings and

commercial premises like factories and shopping centres, firefighters work with the building fire
wardens and use the fire safety systems to protect and evacuate the occupants as well as
conducting search and rescue.
The second priority is to save property. We aim to stop the fire spreading and then put it out as
fast as possible, minimising the damage to property. In 2001/02 we confined 65% of building
fires to the object or room of origin. Once the fire is out, we assist the building owners and
occupiers by salvaging furniture or other items from the damaged area, protecting them from
further smoke or water damage, making sure that nothing is left smoldering and all safety
hazards are identified and the premises are secure.
Industrial fires
Fires in industrial premises present particular challenges to firefighters as they involve a wide
range of machinery, industrial processes and products. Often, special firefighting techniques have
to be used. For example, foam rather than plain water may be used to smother chemical fires.
Fires inside industrial machinery can be hard to get to and there may be the risk of dust or gas
explosions. Fires in bulk storage areas can also be difficult; the product being stored may be
flammable, explosive, corrosive or poisonous and it can be difficult for firefighters to get at the
seat of the fire to put it out. For example, fires in piles of car tyres create large quantities of toxic
smoke and can take days to put out as the unburnt tyres have to be moved away from the burning
tyres. While fighting these sorts of fires we also monitor the effect of the fire on the environment
and take measures to limit the damage, for example by building dams to contain the water
running off the fire so that it does not pollute the environment.
Transport fires
We put out car fires, train fires, fires in trucks and semi-trailers and fires involving aircraft. We
also fight fires on ships, including bulk cargo ships, passenger ships and pleasure craft. Often,
transport fires also involve rescuing people trapped in the vehicles, and we stand by at rescues in
case a fire breaks out. Transport fires can also involve hazardous materials, such as tankers full
of petrol or containers of chemicals.