ELECTRICAL SAFETY ON SITE AND AT WORK
Why is it important to work safely with or near electricity? The voltage of electricity used in businesses and homes has enough power to cause death by electrocution. Even the simple task of changing a light bulb can be hazardous if you touch the live part of the socket it could even kill you. The reason for this that humans are more conductive than the ground you stand on. Electricity can pass through your body if there is no other easy path for the electricity to take.
Do not work close to power lines unless it is necessary. If you must be close to power lines, you must first call Western Power and they will assist you. Metro Electrical 24 Hour Electricians would like to share some safety tips that make working with power tools safer and working near and with electricity.
Safety tips for working with power tools
- Always switch tools to off switch before connecting to power supply.
- Make sure tools are properly grounded or double insulated.
- Test all tools for effective grounding with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) works by detecting any loss of electrical current in a circuit (e.g., it will trip at a maximum of 6mA).
- When a loss is detected, the GFCI turns the electricity off before severe injuries or electrocution can occur. A painful non-fatal shock may occur during the time that it takes for the GFCI to cut off the electricity so it is important to use the GFCI as an extra protective measure rather than a replacement for work safe practices.
- Never bypass the on/off switch and disconnect tools by disconnecting the power cord.
- Always turn off power tools by the on off switch to the tool. Then turn off at the power outlet.
- Do not clean tools with flammable solvents.
- Do not use electrical tools in damp or wet conditions unless it is connected to a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.
- Always inspect extension cords, power boards all electrical fittings for damage or wear and tear before you use any of these.
- When using extension cords, tape them to the floor or walls to avoid anyone tripping over cord and causing an accident to the person tripping as well as the person using the power tool. Also make sure that the extension cord has the right rating to take amperage and voltage of anything plugged into it.
- If power outlets are warm or hot disconnect the cord as there could cause a fire and call a qualified electrician to inspect the wiring and replace the outlet.
- If using a ladder near or working with electricity always use ladder made of non-conductive side rails. Ladders with fibreglass sides are the best to use.
- Always be aware where to find the panel board and circuit breakers are in case of emergency. Make sure these are not blocked and kept clear at all times.
- If working with halogen lights keep them away from any flammable materials as halogen lamps get extremely hot.
- Never using extension cords as a permanent fixture. Extension cords are for temporary use as they can overhead after prolonged use and cause a fire. Keep them away from water and make sure a vehicle cannot drive over them.
- If a work colleague has had an electric shock. Always disconnect the power first and remove the electrical tool using a nonconductive object such as wood, or rubber or heavy duty insulated gloves and call 000 for ambulance. Make sure that a qualified electrician is called to test for any damaged wiring.
- Metro Electrical 24 Hour Electricians always makes sure that all our electricians work in a safe manner are very safety conscious of the working situations. Working with and around electricity is something that you cannot take likely. You should be always aware of any hazards and report them.