The Importance of Electrical Safety

In this era, mostly everything is run by electricity. Your house, your home appliances, your phone — almost everything is powered by electricity. Because of this, it’s critical that people understand the importance of electrical safety. 

If a person comes in direct contact with electricity, injuries can be grave. Burns, shocks or electrocution are all possibilities when working around electricity.  Coming in direct contact with electricity can result in the heart not beating properly, loss of breath, and muscle spasms. 

Here are a few tips about electrical safety. 

Proper PPE (Personal protective equipment)

Before you begin working on anything related to electricity, you should make sure you have proper PPE. Some of these things include safety glasses, boots or shoes with a rubber sole, gloves, and making sure all the tools you’re working with have rubber grips. There are four types of PPE. One is respiratory protection, including things like full or half face masks. The second is eye protection; safety glasses are a necessary precaution when working with anything related to electricity. The third is hearing protection, which includes ear muffs or ear plugs; and the fourth type of PPE is hand protection, which of course necessitates a pair of gloves or barrier creams. 

Electrical outlets

Try to avoid overloading electrical outlets. The average wattage of an electrical outlet is 110 volts, and the average wattage of dryer and washer outlets are 240 volts. 

It doesn’t even matter if the outlet is a GFCI outlet, which has a breaker on it, like in a bathroom. A GFCI is a safety measure that helps prevent electrocution, because of the use of water around these outlets. It’s code that these outlets are standard in bathrooms and kitchens. The average wattage of a GFCI is 110 volts. The purpose of a GFCI is that if you overload the outlet or it comes in contact with water, it trips the breaker and GFCI, which cuts the power. By overloading an outlet by plugging too many things into it, you can trip the breaker. 

An outlet has a built-in breaker so that the electrical panel and the breaker don’t get tripped, or worse, cause a fatal accident or fire. This is helpful, but it’s important to practice caution. 

Lights

Unscrewing a light bulb without first turning off the power and unplugging the electrical cord can result in shocks, or worse. You can also be burned just by the sheer heat of the light bulb, and this is similar when working with other forms of electricity. 

Children

Another tip is of course to keep children away from outlets and live electricity. Kids are naturally curious, and they often find themselves wanting to touch outlets because they look cool; however, this can result in a fatal accident or electrocution. There are outlet safety caps you can buy, which are two-pronged plastic pieces that plug into an outlet and cover the exposed areas. This is an important measure to take when you have young children. 

Water

It’s important to keep appliances away from water. When straightening or blow-drying your hair in the morning, keep them away from water to avoid accidents. 

Cords

If a cord is damaged and the wires are exposed, this is active, live electricity that can harm you. It’s important to repair damaged cords to practice good electrical safety. Don’t repair the cord yourself unless you’re experienced or qualified, but rather consider taking the cords to an experienced electrician who would be happy to help. 

Workplace 

Workplace safety is often the top priority at most organizations; electricity is one of the leading causes of death at work, according to AlertForce, a safety organization in Australia. A survey found that 97 percent of employees have been shocked or injured while at work. Medical costs caused by burns can cost millions to workplaces that pay out for worker’s compensation, and so safety practices are almost always put in place at workplaces.