Electrical Safety: Is it time to review your procedures?
Electrical work is a regular necessity in any building, but it comes with significant hazards. Accidents that occur as a result of electrical work can be both dangerous and costly. Just recently, a private building manager was fined $50,000 by the Ministry of Labour after a maintenance worker received an electrical shock and fell off a ladder while replacing part of a light fixture.
Is it time to review your electrical safety procedures?
Having safe work procedures in place with respect to electrical safety and other key areas can help you prevent accidents and ensure your organization is compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Here are some key things to consider and incorporate into your organization’s electrical safety procedures:
Locking and tagging of electrical equipment
- Only the person who placed a lock and tag on an electrical system or piece of equipment may remove it. No one else should have the authority or ability to remove safety locks.
- When multiple locks and tags are required, use a multiple lock clamp to ensure that the system is not re-energized until all locks are removed.
- Locks and tags must be placed at the primary energy source whenever possible, or as close as possible otherwise.
- The primary energy sources must be identified with a “Danger Due To” sign.
General electrical work
- All workers should be wearing proper personal protective equipment when doing work on or near live exposed parts of installations, equipment or conductors.
- Workers should not open or close an electrical circuit unless they are thoroughly competent, have full knowledge of the circuits affected, and have given ample warning to other workers.
- Workers should stand on the opposite side of the hinge of a switch box when opening or closing a circuit.
- Workers should never use their bare fingers to determine a live wire.
- No work should be performed on conductors until the voltage is known.
- Workers should not depend solely on the insulating cover of wires to keep them safe from electrical shock.
- As a precaution, electrical equipment and lines should always be considered “live.” They must always be tested, isolated and grounded before performing any work.
- Jewellery or other metal objects should not be worn while working on energized systems.
- Whenever possible, disconnect and de-energize power before working on any electrical equipment.
- When it is absolutely necessary to work on or near live circuits, workers must always place themselves in a position so that a shock or slip will not bring them in contact with live parts.
ONPHA’s recently released Health and Safety Guide puts the information housing providers need, right at their fingertips, including:
- 25 unique, safe work procedures on topics like electrical safety, fire safety, office safety, working at heights, asbestos, vehicle use and more
- A customizable template health and safety manual that can be easily adapted and applied in your own organization
- 25 forms for day-to-day use, saving you time and guesswork
- A clear outline of workplace safety roles and responsibilities, from supervisors and employees to contractors and visitors
- Practical tools and resources designed to help you meet your legal responsibilities and protect the health and safety of your employees
Visit our website to get your free preview and to order the full guide.