Electrocution is the fifth leading cause of workplace death from injury. More than half of those deaths result from the use of defective equipment or not following safe procedures. Reduce the risk of electrical shock by keeping in mind these guidelines:
- Keep electrical equipment away from water and dampness.
- Never use electrical equipment if your hands are moist, even if it’s from perspiration, as this can mean the difference between a light shock and a fatal shock.
- Never use water to put out an electrical fire – water can cause a fatal shock. Use a Class C fire extinguisher.
- Always inspect the area you’re working in for electrical hazards.
- Don’t overload circuits.
- Make sure equipment is properly grounded.
- Check electrical cords for fraying and other signs of wear.
- Be sure to LOCKOUT/TAGOUT all switches or completely de-energize before servicing or repairing any equipment.
- If a fellow employee receives a shock:
a. DO NOT PULL THE VICTIM AWAY WITH YOUR HANDS – you will be shocked, too.
b. Use a broom, belt, towel, rope or other non-conductive material to separate the victim form the source of shock.
c. Try to disconnect the source of shock and call for an ambulance.
d. Once the victim is separated from the electrical source, begin CPR immediately and continue until the ambulance arrives.