May is National Electrical Safety Month and it's a great time to review electrical safety within our work areas. Daily at work or at home we interact with electrical components. We should always use caution when doing so. Something as simple as plugging an electrical cord into a receptacle can be hazardous if we don’t take the time to do it safely.
- Electrical cords including cords on portable electrical equipment are subject to inspection, testing and preventative maintenance
- Electrical cords, including cords attached to portable equipment should be inspected prior to use and should be free from defect and damage
- Damaged cords shall be removed from service and tagged as out of service
- GFCI should be used where ever possible/practical
- Take care to route cords as to prevent trip hazards, and place covers over cords that cross designated walkways
- Never repair electrical cords unless you are trained and authorized to do so. All repairs shall be done in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations and or applicable electrical standard
Lock Out/Tag Out
- Only trained authorized individuals may perform LO/TO operations
- LO/TO logs should be completed for each isolation
- Energy Isolation permits should be completed prior to the start of the work. Re- familiarize yourself with the job specific requirements for Energy Isolation.
- There are several types of isolation devices, ensure use of proper devices with the unique lock and key assigned to you. This includes group LO/TO operations.
- Never remove the lock of another individual. Follow proper procedure and elevate any issues arising to the site supervision.
- Isolation shall be verified as per the proper procedure.
Electrical Tools and Equipment
- Tools and equipment utilized for electrical work shall be designed for such use and inspected by the user before each use.
- Insulated tools shall be free from damage and defect, selected for proper voltage and used in accordance with manufacturers recommendations.
- Voltage testing equipment shall be calibrated and inspected. Should only be used by trained authorized personnel, and first used on a known live source.
- Proper PPE shall be worn when utilizing all tools and equipment and shall be documented on the proper risk assessment. For use with live electrical sources follow the required NFPA designated HRC PPE category
- Mobile equipment shall be kept the proper distance from overhead electrical lines. These areas shall be visibly marked with proper signage.
Electrical Panels and Outlets
- Fixed devices such as electrical panels and outlets are designed to provide a controlled source of power. Only trained and authorized personnel shall work on these devices with the proper work policies and PPE
- Electrical panels shall be labelled as per the most current NFPA requirement
- Only trained and authorized employees shall access the electrical panels.
- Electrical panels or outlets with obvious signs of damage or defect shall be reported immediately so that proper isolation of energy can take place to prevent injury or incident.
- When utilizing electrical outlets including disconnects ensure inspection prior to use and utilize proper PPE when connecting.
Electricity has made daily life more efficient and comfortable. We are in constant use of energized electrical equipment both at home and at work. Please take the time to review site specific procedures and ensure compliance. When at home remember to utilize electrical safety training from work and share with friends and neighbours. Always approach electricity with the utmost caution, and remember you have the right and responsibility to stop work that is unsafe.