Electricity is a widely used, efficient, and convenient but potentially hazardous method of transmitting and using energy. It is in use in every factory, workshop, laboratory, and office in the country. Any use of electricity has the potential to be very hazardous with possibly fatal results. Legislation has been in place for many years to control and regulate the use of electrical energy and the activities associated with its use. Such legislation provides a framework for the standards required in the design, installation, maintenance, and use of electrical equipment and systems and the supervision of these activities to minimize the risk of injury.
Electrical work from the largest to the smallest installation must be carried out by people known to be competent to undertake such work. New installations always require expert advice at all appropriate levels to cover design aspects of the system and those of its associated equipment. Electrical systems and equipment must be properly selected, installed, used, and maintained.
In the UK approximately 8% of all fatalities at work are caused by electric shock. Over the last few years, there have been 1,000 electrical accidents each year and about 25 people die of their injuries annually. The majority of the fatalities occur in the agriculture, extractive, and utility supply and service industries, whereas the majority of the major accidents happen in the manufacturing, construction, and service industries.
Only voltages up to and including mains voltage (220/240V) and the three principal electrical hazards – electric shock, electric burns, and electrical fires and explosions – are considered in detail in this chapter.
Electrical Safety Regulations
Regulations aim to ensure the safety of people in the workplace and the public, by providing a framework of minimum standards for the design, selection, installation, operation, and maintenance of electrical equipment. The Regulations also require that those who carry out electrical work are competent to do so.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (EAWR) state that:
- All systems shall be of such construction as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, danger.
- Systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, danger.
- Equipment shall be selected and installed taking into account the conditions under which it is used and all relevant circumstances including the character and quantity of electrical energy which may be available.
- Equipment shall be used only by persons who have been properly instructed in its use.
- Equipment shall be maintained in a safe condition and the maintenance carried out by persons who are competent to do so.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (EAWR) place a duty on employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of their employees and other persons who may be affected by their work.
Employers must also ensure that employees are properly instructed in the safe systems of work to be adopted and are provided with any necessary information, training, and supervision.
The Regulations apply to all electrical systems and equipment used at work, whether portable or fixed, and include anything connected to the mains electricity supply. They do not, however, apply to low voltage electrical equipment used in domestic premises. The term ‘electrical work’ is defined in the Regulations as:
- The installation of an electrical system or part of an electrical system.
- The addition, alteration, or repair of an electrical system or part of an electrical system.
- The disconnection or removal of an electrical system or part of an electrical system.
All work carried out on any electrical equipment must be done by a competent person. A competent person is defined as a person who has the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to carry out the work safely and to the required standard.
In this blog post, we will be discussing the ten electrical safety rules that everyone should know.
Importance Of Electrical Safety
There are a number of reasons why electrical safety is so important. Firstly, electricity is an essential part of modern life and we rely on it for a huge range of tasks, from cooking and cleaning to working and entertainment. Secondly, electricity can be extremely dangerous if it is not used correctly. It can cause fires, explosions, and electric shocks that can result in serious injuries or even death.
That is why it is so important to follow some basic safety rules when using electrical equipment and appliances. By doing so, you can help to prevent accidents and keep yourself and those around you safe.
10 Electrical Safety Hazards
Here are the top ten electrical safety hazards that you should be aware of:
Overloading sockets and extension leads – This is a common cause of house fires. Never overload sockets or use damaged plugs, cables or extension leads.
Damaged or loose electrical plugs – If an electrical plug is damaged, it can cause a fire or an electric shock. Make sure that all plugs are in good condition and fitted correctly.
Water and electricity – Water is a conductor of electricity, which means it can cause an electric shock if you touch it while using electrical equipment. Always keep electrical items away from water.
Using electrical equipment outdoors – If you use electrical equipment outdoors, make sure that it is designed for outdoor use and that you have a safe power source. Never use extension leads outdoors.
DIY electrical work – Only competent persons should carry out any type of electrical work. If you are not qualified, you could seriously injure yourself or start a fire.
Old or damaged wiring – Old or damaged wiring can be dangerous as it can overheat and cause fires. If you suspect that your wiring is old or damaged, get it checked by a qualified electrician.
Faulty electrical appliances – Faulty electrical appliances can cause fires and electric shocks. Always unplug them and get them repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
Electrical cords and cables – Electrical cords and cables can be a trip hazard. Make sure they are kept out of the way and not damaged in any way.
Portable heaters – Portable heaters can be a fire risk if they are not used correctly. Never leave them unattended and make sure they are placed on a stable surface away from flammable materials.
Extension leads – Extension leads can be dangerous if they are not used correctly. Never overload them and make sure they are placed on a stable surface away from water.
10 Rules For Electrical Safety
Here are the ten electrical safety rules that everyone should know:
Rule #0: Familiarize Yourself with the Basics
Just like anything else, it is important to familiarize yourself with the basics before diving into something headfirst. This rule applies to electricity as well. Make sure you understand the basic concepts and terms associated with electricity and electrical safety before moving on to more complicated topics.
Rule #01: Understand Your Equipment
This rule is two-fold. First, you need to make sure that you understand how your equipment works. Read the manuals! Second, you need to ensure that your equipment is compatible with one another. For example, if you are using a power strip, make sure that it can handle the wattage of all the devices that you will be plugging into it.
Rule #02: Inspect Before You Use
Before using any electrical equipment, it is important to inspect it for damage. Damaged cords or plugs can pose a serious fire hazard, so make sure to check for frayed wires, cracks, or missing insulation. If you see any damage, do not use the equipment and replace it immediately.
Rule #03: Use the Right Tools for the Job
Make sure you are using the proper tools for the job at hand. Using the wrong tool can result in serious injury or even death. For example, if you are working with live wires, make sure to use gloves and other safety gear to protect yourself.
Rule #04: Be careful with Extension Cords
Extension cords are a common cause of electrical fires. To avoid this, make sure to never overload an extension cord and always unplug it by the cord, not the appliance. In addition, do not run extension cords under rugs or carpets, as this can damage the cord and pose a fire hazard.
Rule #05: Do Not Use Substandard Products
Just because an electrical product is cheaper does not mean that it is a good deal. In fact, using substandard products can be very dangerous. Make sure to only use products that have been tested and approved by a reputable testing laboratory, such as UL or ETL.
Rule #06: Do Not Modify Electrical Products
It is very important to never modify electrical products. Doing so can void the UL or ETL approval, and make the product much more dangerous. If you need a different type of product, purchase one that is specifically designed for your needs.
Rule #07: Be Wary of Water
Water and electricity do not mix! Make sure to keep all electrical equipment away from water sources, such as sinks, bathtubs, and pools. In addition, do not use electrical appliances in wet areas, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
Rule #08: Use GFCIs
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are devices that protect against electrical shocks by quickly shutting off power when they detect a ground fault. They are an important safety device and should be used in all wet or damp areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and outdoors.
Rule #09: Do Not Use Damaged Cords or Plugs
If you see any damage to an electrical cord or plug, do not use it! Using damaged cords or plugs can pose a serious fire hazard. If you need to replace a damaged cord or plug, make sure to use one that is approved by a reputable testing laboratory, such as UL or ETL.
Rule #10: Do Not Overload Outlets
Overloading outlets is a common cause of electrical fires. To avoid this, make sure to never plug more than two devices into one outlet. In addition, do not use extension cords to plug in more than two devices. If you need to plug in more than two devices, use a power strip with built-in circuit protection.
By following these simple rules, you can help keep yourself and your family safe from electrical hazards. Remember, safety is always the number one priority when working with electricity!
Electrical safety is extremely important. By following the simple rules above, you can help keep yourself and your family safe from electrical hazards. Remember, safety is always the number one priority when working with electricity! Thank you for reading! We hope this article was helpful.
Please note that the above blog post content is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Always consult a qualified electrician if you have any concerns about your electrical equipment or wiring.