Electrical risks include anything that could result in shock, severe damage, or even death. Direct or indirect communication is both possible.
The safety of electrical equipment must be ensured by everybody who manages or works with it. Learn about the dangers associated with electricity and what conditions and equipment pose the most risk.
More occupational fatalities are due to electricity than anything else.
The following are the main ways that electricity harms workers:
- Electric shock and burns can result through indirect contact with exposed live parts, such as when exposed leads come into contact with a metal floor or roof,
- Errors leading to fires,
- An explosive or flammable atmosphere being ignited by electricity, as can happen in a spray paint booth.
Risky electrical apparatus
Certain equipment carries more risk than others. When transported frequently, portable electrical equipment is especially vulnerable to damage.
- electric cables,
- extension cables.
Condition with a higher risk
The dangers of electricity are greater in hostile environments, such as:
- outdoors or in rainy conditions where damaged equipment could occur,
- confined areas with earthed metalwork, like the interior of a tank or bin, where it may be challenging to avoid shock in an electrical accident.
Workplaces with a higher risk of electricity
Workplaces with a higher risk of equipment damage are those with harsher environments.
Workplaces with greater risk include:
- dusty or wet areas,
- workplaces where corrosive materials are used,
- industrial kitchens,
- manufacturing environments.
Workplaces with lower electricity risk
Workplaces with lower risks are free of hazards that could harm electrical equipment.
These work environments are tidy, dry, and organised. Workplaces with lesser risk include:
- an office,
- retail shop,
In lower-risk workplaces, routine testing and inspection of electrical equipment are not necessary, although you may still wish to do it to make sure it is secure.
Establishing a secure workplace
At your place of business, you must ensure that the electrical equipment is secure. Until it has been repaired, tested, and determined to be safe, electrical equipment that is unsafe must not be utilised and must be kept off the power.
This applies to:
- whomever oversees, regulates, or instals electrical equipment
- contractors and employees who use electrical equipment.
testing and inspecting
If the following apply, you must make sure a qualified individual routinely inspects and tests electrical equipment:
- powered by a plug-in electrical outlet
- typically employed in higher risk working settings
This will reveal flaws and damage that you are unable to notice.
A capable individual for electrical inspections
Electrical testing and inspections must be carried out by a qualified individual. They are typically an electrical inspector who is also licenced or registered.
When to inspect and test?
The type and frequency of inspection and testing will be decided by a competent individual. The kind of electrical equipment utilised, as well as how and where it is used, will determine this.
In higher-risk workplaces, equipment often has to be tested at least once every 12 months.
Find strategies to make your workplace safe for employees who work with and around electricity if there is an electrical risk there. Working with electrical cables and solar power systems is part of this.
Electrical work should only be carried out by licenced or registered electricians. Additionally, a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) is required to:
- offer safe and appropriate electrical equipment, such as avoiding the use of tools and leads in damp or wet situations unless they are designed to do so.
- before using, check leads for damage and discard any that are.
- before turning the electricity back on, determine why a residual current device (RCD), circuit breaker, or other over-current protective device cut the power.
Arrange equipment to manage risk
To reduce electrical dangers, arrange your equipment properly.
Set up electrical leads so as to prevent damage by:
- running leads through doorways, over the floor, and over sharp edges are all prohibited.
- keeping leads off the ground by employing insulated cable hangers or lead stands.
- where necessary, utilising cable protection ramps or covers to safeguard lines and cords.
- control the risk of power circuit overload.
By doing the following, you can stop power circuit overloads:
- provide enough socket outlets because overloading them with adaptors can result in fires.
- to avoid overloading, use a circuit breaker or fuse that is rated appropriately.
- not raising the fuse rating if the circuit continues to be overloaded because doing so poses a fire risk due to overheating.
- wherever possible, replace tools that require electricity with battery-powered ones.
Managing dangers associated with overhead and underground electric lines
To reduce the dangers of working close to electric lines:
- if at all feasible, turn off the equipment and cables,
- identify the insulation and line voltage,
- consult with the workforce, the power supply, and PCBUs,
- select work zones and safe approach distances.
Other measures to reduce the risks associated with overhead lines include:
- Examine the line’s height, swing, and droop.
- Consider the environment, including the climate, terrain, and traffic.
Other measures to reduce the dangers associated with underground lines include:
- locate the lines if you’re planning to fix potholes, for instance.
- using heated hand tools.
Keep in mind that if you experience such accidents at work, you may be entitled to compensation for this
After electrical accidents in Australia, you may be entitled to seek compensation to compensate for your loss. Although accidents due to electrical faults in the workplace have been described above, such accidents can happen to us during the day for different reasons. We recommend that you contact compensation lawyers in Sydney to find out what to do in such situations and what rights you can claim.
On the other hand, if this accident occurred in Western Australia, the process may work differently. Therefore, if you are in WA, you can contact the compensation lawyers in Perth.