Safety in the workplace is a topic that should always get your attention and electrical safety is one aspect of this subject in particular that needs regularly reviewing and improving.
Workers who are exposed to high-voltage risks when using electrical equipment need to be provided with adequate protection and training if they are going to reduce the odds of an accident or injury.
Here is a look at how to achieve those safety goals by reducing risks. There is an overview of how to act on your risk assessment, why fitting RCDs could be a life-saving decision, and some tips on ways to strengthen your safety-first approach.
It starts with a risk assessment
If you are going to truly understand and identify the potential risks associated with your own workplace environment the starting point is to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment.
Once you have completed that risk assessment the next course of action is to use the findings as a guide to what action will be needed to reduce what can be considered as unacceptable risks.
As well as making sure that your electrical equipment is periodically tested and declared fit for purpose it is worth remembering that all of these initiatives can be quickly undone if the person using the equipment is not competent or qualified enough to say safe.
Training is an integral part of safety practices so do what you can to ensure that all workers using electrical equipment have the necessary knowledge, skills, and training to be able to prevent injury to themselves and others.
Fitting a potentially life-saving device
RCDs supplied by someone like rs-online.com are safety devices that are designed to switch off the electrical supply automatically as soon as it detects a fault.
Every second counts, and a residual current device (RCD) is potentially a life-saving device that can help to prevent a worker from suffering a fatal electric shock. If someone inadvertently touches a bare live wire the RCD unit shuts down the electricity and this offers you a level of protection that standard fuses and circuit-breakers are not able to match.
An RCD works by constantly monitoring the electrical current flowing through the circuits it is being used to protect and can quickly detect a problem such as a person touching a live wire, so this extra layer of protection could be very useful in your workplace.
Safe and suitable
The priority should always be to choose equipment in your workplace that is considered to be suitable for its working environment.
A good example of how you can follow this safety-first approach would be to consider the idea of using air- hydraulic or hand-powered tools which might be more suitable and can help to eliminate the risk of an electrical issue.
If you are using portable equipment at any time always aim to use sockets outlets that are as close as possible, allowing you to cut off the power supply quickly in an emergency.
Another proactive approach with electrical safety is to inspect cables regularly and if you notice any damaged sections, replace them immediately.
If you want to keep your workplace environment as safe as possible electrical safety has to be a top priority.
Sienna Baxter works as an electrical safety officer and shares her knowledge online through her articles to keep people safe.