[size=4]ELECTRICAL SAFETY FOR THE HOME AND WORKPLACE
THE POWER AT THE
MEANS IT’S SAFE TO WORK,
Every year, people are injured or killed by
circuits they thought were safely turned off.
Simply shutting off the power is not enough.
Hazardous conditions can still exist.
Working with electricity requires thorough
planning and extreme care. Whether you are
a do-it-yourselfer tackling a weekend project
or an experienced contractor, learning and
practicing safe work habits can significantly
reduce your risk.
That’s why you must always
YOU TOUCH. You may not get a second
chance to learn this important lesson.
**Electrical Safety Foundation International
Founded in 1994 through a joint effort between
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
and the National Electrical Manufacturers
Association (NEMA), the Electrical Safety
Foundation International (ESFI) is North
America’s only non-profit organization dedicated
exclusively to promoting electrical safety in the
home, school and workplace. ESFI is a 501©(3)
organization funded by electrical manufacturers
and distributors, independent testing laboratories,
utilities, safety and consumer groups and trade
and labor associations. ESFI sponsors National
Electrical Safety Month each May and engages
in public education campaigns and proactive
media relations to help reduce property damage,
personal injury and death due to electrical
accidents. The Foundation does not engage in
code or standard writing or lobbying and does
not solicit individuals.
Electrical hazards, while a fraction of total
workplace injuries, are more likely to result
in death than injuries from other causes.
Electrical accidents on the job cause
an average of 13 days away from work
and nearly one fatality every day.
Approximately 62 percent of an
estimated 32,807 nonfatal electrical
injuries occurring between 1992 and
1998 were classified as electric shock
and 38 percent as electric burns.
The nonfatal workplace incidents that
cause the highest number of days away
from work include contact with an
electrical current or a machine, tool,
appliance or light fixture (38 percent),
and contact with wiring, transformers or
other electrical components (33 percent).
Nonfatal electrical injury occurs most
often to those who work with machines
or tools and around electrical wiring
other than power lines.
Source: “Occupational Electrical Injuries in the US,
1992–1998” published in the
Journal of Safety Research
CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE
Many injuries, deaths and property damage caused
by electrical hazards can be avoided. If you are not
experienced in working directly with electricity and
trained to recognize and avoid electrical hazards,
consider hiring a certified electrician for your
electrical work. For those experienced in working
with electricity, these points can help remind you
of basic electrical safety practices. The first step in
avoiding these hazards begins with safety. Before
undertaking any type of electrical work, plan your
job and include all necessary steps to ensure your
safety and the safety of those around you. And
TEST BEFORE YOU TOUCH.
**AROUND THE HOUSE
electrical system. Make
a map showing which fuse
or circuit breaker controls
each switch, light or outlet.
Wear the appropriate personal
protective equipment (PPE).
Ensure the right circuits are
turned off before starting
Make sure the circuits cannot
be accidentally turned back
on while you are working.
Use a circuit tester, and make sure it is working
properly by testing it before and after you test
the circuit where you will be working.
**ON THE JOB
Electrical hazards on the job can be avoided
by following approved NFPA 70E and OSHA
guidelines. Attention to safety is the important
first step to an effective safety program. Skilled
employees, trained in electrical safety procedures,
should make sure they understand and follow
safety precautions. Those not trained to recognize
and avoid electrical hazards, or not under the
supervision of those qualified in electrical safety
procedures, should avoid contact with electrical
equipment and systems.
Understand the construction and operation
of the electrical equipment and the hazards
Identify all possible energy sources that could
pose on-the-job hazards.
Know safety requirements and follow them.
Calculate the energy potential.
Select the appropriate personal protective
equipment (PPE). Remember, PPE must be
worn until the electrical system is in a safe
Complete a detailed job plan and communicate
it to all coworkers.
Before working on or around electrical systems
or equipment, identify the load circuits and
disconnect. Remember, in some cases, turning
power off may cause other hazards. Such
hazards and additional guidance should be
addressed in your work plan.
Use lock-out/tag-out procedures.
Verify that the equipment or system has been
de-energized by testing.
Make sure your test equipment is working,
both before and after you use it.
If at any time the job becomes more hazardous
than anticipated, stop and revise the plans.
Above all, never assume that the equipment or
system is de-energized. Remember to always TEST
BEFORE YOU TOUCH.
For details on electrical safety, please refer to the National
Fire Protection Association Standards (NFPA) 70E and the
U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health
Act (OSHA) requirements. Visit NFPA at
OSHA at www.osha.gov