Each May, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)—a nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety—creates a theme for National Electrical Safety Month. This year's theme is "Understanding the Code that Keeps us Safe," with an emphasis on the importance of the National Electrical Code (NEC) and its three-year cycle.
"The NEC is updated every three years to include the latest in proven safety technology, and ESFI is committed to educating the public about the importance of staying up to code," said Brett Brenner, president of ESFI. "This year's resources focus on common hazards, including overhead power lines and lesser known dangers such as electric shock drowning."
According to ESFI, an estimated average of 70 electrocution fatalities are associated with consumer products each year. There also are reports are electric shock drownings occurring in marinas and swimming pools each year.
But the concern is not just for the public at large. ESFI also reports that, in 2016 (the latest data available), 53 percent of all fatal electrical injuries occurred in the construction industry.
The NEC is designed to reduce deaths, injuries, and other accidents related to electrical hazards. Some of the content being featured by the ESFI this month includes the following:
- "National Electrical Code: Understanding the Code that Keeps Us Safe," an infographic that explains the importance of the NEC and its prompt adoption
- "Electric Shock Drowning—Water and Electricity Don't Mix," a document that uncovers the danger of electrified water in pools and marinas
- "Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories—Certifying Safety," a document that explains the role of NRTLs in the electrical safety cycle
- "Overhead Power Line Safety," a document that delineates eight steps for working safely around power lines
- "Workplace Fatalities and Injuries 2003-2016," a document that covers the most recent data on workplace fatalities and injuries, and demonstrates how accidents involving electricity compare with other accidents
To access ESFI's complete collection of National Electrical Safety Month resources, and for information on how readers can use these resources to educate themselves, their customers, their local schools, and their communities, visit www.esfi.org.