Sunday, April 29, 2012

Preventing Electrical Accidents

Hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries occur every year as a result of electrical accidents at work, and most of these types of accidents can be prevented.

Some important things to keep in mind about electrical accidents:
  • Normal workplace or household current can be lethal. 
  • Electrocution can occur as the result of contact with seemingly innocuous objects, such as a broken light bulb. 
  • Overloaded electrical circuits can cause fires. 
  • Electricity always travels to ground, and a person can be the conduit for the electricity to ground. 
Case study: Meuser & Associate represented an individual who worked at a manufacturing facility. The normal maintenance person was gone for the day, so our client was asked to change a fluorescent bulb that had burned out. He had no electrical training, and had not been trained how to change a fluorescent bulb. He got on a metal ladder to reach the bulb, and suffered a severe shock injury when he came into contact with the electrical connectors. He also fell from the ladder as a result of the shock. Our client sustained burn injuries on his hand and feet, and suffered from memory loss and concentration difficulties following the injury. As a result of falling off the ladder, he also injured his knee and his back. He required significant emergency medical care, and missed several months from work. Thankfully, our client ultimately recovered with few residual effects from the injury, and he was able to return to work with his employer.

Some tips to avoid electrical accidents:
  • Don’t use cords or wires with damaged insulation. 
  • Don’t use electrical tools or equipment that smokes, sparks, shocks, smells, blows a fuse, or trips a circuit. 
  • Don’t use any non-GCFI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet in a wet area. 
  • Don’t use cords with bent or missing grounding plugs. 
  • Don’t use metal ladders or tools when working near electricity. 
  • Don’t use water to extinguish an electrical fire. 
  • Don’t touch anything electric when your hands are wet, if you’re standing on a wet floor, or when you’re in contact with a wet surface. 
  • Don’t touch an electrical shock victim. 
  • Don’t place cords where they can be damaged. 
  • Don’t place cords near heat or water. 
  • Don’t place nails or sharp fasteners on electrical cords. 
  • Don’t permit overloaded outlets or circuits.
  • Don’t permit blind reaches into any areas containing energized parts. 
  • Don’t permit combustible trash on or around electrical equipment or circuits. 
  • Don’t permit anyone who isn’t trained and qualified to repair electrical equipment. 
  • Don’t permit unauthorized removal of a lockout device or tag. 
If you’ve sustained an on-the-job electrical injury, you may be eligible for Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits, including medical expense benefits, wage loss benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and/or rehabilitation benefits. For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact Meuser & Associate at 877-746-5680, or click here to send us an email.

1 comment:

  1. As a fellow Electrical Contractor good job on your post, it cant be said enough about electrical safety, its so preventable and very frustracting for most in the industry.


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