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# Electrical Hazards Awareness Briefing

## Basic Electrical Safety Hazard Awareness for Non-Electrical Personnel Module 1

Purpose
The purpose worker safety Raising your awareness of electrical hazards Instructing you on how to recognize electrical hazards Providing ways to eliminate, remove and prevent electrical hazards in the workplace Emphasizing the extreme importance of observing all electrical safety requirements and practices Instructing you on what to do during an electrical accident

Introduction
An average of one worker is electrocuted on the job every day An average of one person is electrocuted in the home every 36 hours Electrical incidents are far more likely to be fatal than other types There are four main types of electrical injuries:

## Electrocution (death due to electrical shock) Electrical shock Burns Falls

Electrical Terminology
Current the movement of electrical charge Resistance opposition to current flow Voltage a measure of electrical force Conductors substances, such as metals, that have little resistance to electricity Insulators substances, such as wood, rubber, glass, and bakelite, that have high resistance to electricity Grounding a conductive connection to the earth which acts as a protective measure
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Electrical Shock
Received when current passes through the body Severity of the shock depends on: Path of current through the body Amount of current flowing through the body Length of time the body is in the circuit

## Dangers of Electrical Shock

Currents greater than 75 mA* can cause ventricular fibrillation (rapid, ineffective heartbeat) Will cause death in a few minutes unless a defibrillator is used 75 mA is not much current a small power drill uses 30 times as much

Defibrillator in use

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## How is an electrical shock received?

When two wires have different potential differences (voltages), current will flow if they are connected together In most household wiring, the black wires are at 110 volts relative to ground The white wires are at zero volts because they are connected to ground If you come into contact with an energized (live) black wire, and you are also in contact with the white grounded wire, current will pass through your body and YOU WILL RECEIVE A SHOCK
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## How is an electrical shock received?

(contd)

If you are in contact with an energized wire or any energized electrical component, and also with any grounded object, YOU WILL RECEIVE A SHOCK You can even receive a shock when you are not in contact with a ground If you contact both wires of a 240-volt cable, YOU WILL RECEIVE A SHOCK and possibly be electrocuted

## Low Voltage Does Not Mean Low Hazard

A small amount of electrical current can cause injury, even death The current from a 7.5-watt, 120-volt lamp, passing across the chest, is enough to cause fatal electrocution Deaths from 120 volts represent about 12 percent of all electrocutions

Electrical Burns
Most common shock-related, nonfatal injury Occurs when you touch electrical wiring or equipment that is improperly used or maintained Typically occurs on the hands Very serious injury that needs immediate attention
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## Recognize the Hazards

Have you seen areas like these?

Both are NEC violations and present a safety hazard, based on inaccessible circuit control devices
Do not block the working space around electrical equipment (600 volts, nominal, or less). This space provides and maintains sufficient access and working space to permit ready and safe operation and maintenance of such equipment
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## Recognize the Hazards

What do you do if you see these situations?

## Call a timeout and inform your supervisor

Do not remove or open receptacle covers, switch plates, or covers of electrical equipment unless qualified and authorized
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## Recognize the Hazard

Assume all exposed wiring is energized until proven otherwise. STOP, protect the area and contact supervision if you encounter this situation
Potentially energized exposed wire with status unknown
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## Recognize the Hazard Tripping and Abrasion Hazards

Dont cause tripping hazards or create pinch points for cords If you must run a cord temporarily across the floor, protect your coworkers by covering the cord appropriately
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Not OK

OK

## Recognize the Hazards

Remove from service damaged or frayed cords Report electrical equipment damage to your supervisor
Visually inspect electrical equipment before each use for damage and/or external defects such as loose, missing or deformed parts, pinched or crushed outer jackets or insulation. This type of external damage may indicate internal damage to the equipment. Electrical cords that are worn or damaged must be replaced without delay. Before cleaning electrical equipment, turn it off and unplug it.

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## Recognize the Hazard Cabinets, Boxes, and Fittings

Junction boxes, pull boxes and fittings must have approved covers in place Unused openings in cabinets, boxes and fittings must be closed (no missing knockouts) Photo shows violations of these two requirements Report this situation to management

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## Recognize the Hazard

Observe all barricades, postings, and warning signs regarding dangerous voltages Do not enter or approach electrical work areas unless specifically authorized and qualified.

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## Recognize the Hazards

Not permitted and should be taken out of service! Electrical boxes with knockouts are designed to be installed in or on walls, not used as multioutlet extension cords.
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## Recognize the Hazard Grounding Path

The path to ground from circuits, equipment, and enclosures must be permanent and continuous Violation shown here is an extension cord with a missing grounding prong Do not make alterations to polarized blades or ground pin to make plug fit into nonpolarized or non-grounded outlet

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## Recognize the Hazards

Electrical hazards may exist overhead indoors
Crane power rails are an example
Stay at least 10 feet away from overhead lines

## Electrical hazards may also exist overhead outdoors

Most lines are bare and higher voltage than the normal insulated wiring Contact is not required to initiate an arc or cause shock and burn injuries Maintain safe approach distances when working near energized overhead lines
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## Recognize the Hazard

Electrical equipment and wiring must not be exposed to physical damage Picture shown here is physical damage to conduit Stay away from damaged equipment and report equipment damage to supervision

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## Recognize the Hazard

Treat it as it is designed to be treated Pull the plug, not the cord

Handle portable electrical equipment carefully, in accordance with manufacturers instructions, and in a manner that will not cause damage
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## Clues that Electrical Hazards May Exist

Tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses Hot to the touch on tools, wires, cords, connections, or junction boxes Dim and flickering lights Sizzles and buzzes-unusual sounds from electrical system Odor of hot insulation Mild tingle from contact with case or equipment GFCI that shuts off a circuit Worn or frayed insulation around wire or connection Burn marks or discoloration on receptacle plates or plug prongs

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## Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter

Always use a GFCI receptacle or circuit for cord connected tools and equipment used outdoors or near water This device protects you from electrocution The GFCI detects a difference in current between the black and white circuit wires (This could happen when electrical equipment is not working correctly, causing current leakage known as a ground fault.) Perform the test function on the GFCI to determine if it is functioning properly by pushing the button to verify it shuts off Repeated resetting not allowed. Contact local E&I to troubleshoot if GFCI continues to trip.

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Examples

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## Safe Practices Cord Control

Do not fasten electrical cords to surfaces with staples, nails, wire, or any other method that might damage the cord Extension cords Place them in appropriate locations

Understand they are for temporary use only Tool cords Keep track of them, to assure they do not become damaged Do not plug or unplug electrical cords with wet hands or while standing in water

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## Safe Practices Cord Control Cont.

Do not use portable electrical equipment or extension cords in wet or damp locations without a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) ahead of the plug connection GFCIs are also required for temporary power applications in wet or damp locations, including extension cords Remove loads from an appliance or extension cord before unplugging it If a plug wont stay placed snugly or fits loosely in a receptacle, dont use it; call local E&I to replace it

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## Safe Practices Resetting Breakers

When circuit breakers and fuses trip, dont reset or replace them! Only qualified and authorized personnel are allowed to reset breakers and replace fuses

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## Safe Practices Conductive Apparel

Dont wear loose conductive apparel, (such as rings, watch bands, bracelets, necklaces, etc.) when plugging in electrical cords
Charm contacted plug Burn from arc

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## Safe Practices Wall Penetrations

When penetrating walls to hang pictures, bulletin boards, signs, understand and follow site requirements to ensure that concealed electrical wiring, conduit or piping will not be contacted A non-obtrusive survey (e.g., Ground Penetrating Radar, proximity detection device) may be required, along with a review of applicable drawings, to ensure that the electrical system is not penetrated or contacted

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## Safe Practices Equipment Applications

Consumer electrical equipment or appliances should be tested and labeled by a recognized testing laboratory. (Look for the UL, CSA, ETL or MET Label) Always read and follow the manufacturers instructions carefully. Be sure that the equipment or tool is rated for the environment (wet, damp, etc.) Plug portable space heaters directly into outlet: Do not use extension cord. Use a circuit with as little else on it as possible since space heaters take a lot of power.

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## Safe Practices Qualifications

Do not remove/replace receptacle covers, switch plates, or covers of electrical equipment that may contain energized conductors without electrical qualifications and authorization Only qualified electrical workers may perform activities such as electrical probing, measuring and testing electrical energized components (such as performing an absence of voltage test)

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Electrical Emergencies
Do you know what dangers could be encountered? Attempts to rescue an accident victim may pose as great a hazard for the rescuer as it does for the victim A victim of an electrical accident is often unable to move or release the electrical conductor, because of muscle clamping Caution should be a primary consideration during any electrical accident or emergency

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Electrical Emergencies

Do you know the proper actions to take if you see someone receiving a shock or locked onto an energized electrical line? Approaching the accident: Never rush into an accident situation-Assess your own safety Call 911 as soon as possible Unplug portable electrical equipment to remove power (1st choice) Open a disconnecting device or circuit breaker to de-energize fixed electrical equipment Use a dry wood broom, leather belt, plastic rope, or something similar that is non-conductive such as wood or plastic cane with hook on the end to free the person from the energy source

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## Electrical Emergencies Downed Power Lines

Do you know the proper actions to take? Approaching the accident: Move away from downed power line Shuffle away with small steps keeping feet together If you see someone in direct contact with line, do not touch person Call 911 as soon as possible Do not attempt to move downed power line Get the aid of trained electrical personnel if possible If you are in your car and it is it contact with the downed line, stay in car. Honk horn for help and tell others to stay away from your vehicle
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What Now?
Inspect your work areas Existing unsafe conditions - Bare wires - Open enclosures containing exposed wires - Loose or missing covers or fasteners - Use good electrical safe practices - No daisy-chaining - No overloading outlets - Pull on plug, not cord
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What Now?
What do I do if I identify a hazardous condition? When unsafe electrical conditions are found, correct them if possible, or take steps to warn other employees Report unsafe electrical conditions verbally and/or in writing to supervision so corrective actions can be taken immediately Barricade the area, if an immediate hazard exists Notify supervision for correction and documentation

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