Much has been written about the dangers of electricity and the importance of following proper work practices. This includes the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), which is the last line of defense. Clothing is somewhat of a different story.
Electrical contractors and electricians have shared responsibilities regarding safety in the work environment. The contractors are typically the employers that engage the services of the electrical workers.
During my career, I have encountered many electricians and engineers who considered installing power quality monitors to be a nonhazardous job that requires nothing more than hooking up the voltage clip leads and putting on the current probes to the proper conductors.
On the job, We pay close attention to numerous electrical safety basics. This is a good thing. Unfortunately, we seem to forget all about many of these once we get home. Although safety is very important on the job, safety at home is just as crucial.
Anyone who has seen or heard an ad for beer, wine or liquor has heard the tag line, “Please drink responsibly.” To drink responsibly sounds like an unattainable feat. Don’t many people have a drink to relax and escape their responsibilities for a bit?
Just about anyone working on a job site, as well as most do-it-yourselfers, has experienced an injury caused by a hand tool. Many seem to expect a minor injury, such as a scrape or a bang on a knuckle.
Typically, contractors know what codes and standards are in force in their market areas, and if they don’t, they should find out. But often this is limited to the code they use the most, the National Electrical Code (NEC).
Health topics made headlines in 2009: H1N1 flu, the seasonal flu and their prevention, and no one wants to get these illnesses because they are uncomfortable, inconvenient and, in certain cases, deadly.
Right in front of you on the switchboard, a bright orange label reads: “WARNING Arc Flash Hazard, Appropriate PPE Required.” As you look closer at the label, you also see: “6.5 cal/cm2 at a working distance of 18 inches.”
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), along with many other organizations, has invested large amounts of time and money to increase the safety of workers who perform tasks at height.
Most contractors install strobe lights to comply with the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code by simply using a combination audible-visible appliance everywhere one or the other is shown on the plans.
Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen said, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” Following this logic and considering the fabric and technology available today, our employees should never be cold if they are properly dressed.
Although training is an integral part of any health and safety program, doing it effectively often is easier said than done. The toolbox talk is a refresher to remind workers of specific safety topics that may apply to a certain job site, task or seasonal safety issue.