Preventing Electric Shock: 5 Common Workplace Electrical Hazards to Know

When most people think of workplace hazards, they think of things like tripping over objects or mishandling heavy equipment. These issues can definitely result in workplace accidents and injuries. They're not the only contributors, though. Electrical injuries and accidents are highly common, too. In fact, electricity exposure or contact is the sixth most common cause of workplace fatalities! The key to avoiding electrical injuries at work is to avoid electrical hazards. Read on to learn about five common electrical hazards in the workplace. If you address these hazards, you'll have a much easier time preventing electric shocks and other serious issues.

1. Overloaded Circuits

An overloaded circuit can lead to a variety of problems within your office. The issue could be as seemingly mild as flickering lights from a tripped breaker or as serious as a fire. Your circuits may be overloaded if you notice lights flickering on and off or dimming in your workplace. Buzzing outlets or a burning smell could also be indicators of circuit overload.

2. Damaged Tools/Equipment

Damage to the electrical equipment and tools in your workplace is a major electric shock hazard, too. Common types of damage include cracks, abrasions, and cuts in wires, outlets, cables, or cords. It's important to check equipment on a regular basis to make sure none of these issues are present. If you do notice any defects, you ought to replace the equipment or have it repaired right away. Don't try to fix it yourself, though -- always work with a professional.

3. Exposed Electrical Parts

Exposed electrical parts -- including temporary lighting and detached insulation on electrical cords -- can lead to electric shocks and burns if you're not careful. These items should always be secured and covered properly to keep workers safe.

4. Outdated Wiring

If you work in an older building, there's a possibility that you're dealing with outdated wiring. Outdated wiring can result in electric shocks, and it's also a major fire hazard in homes and offices. Be on the lookout for common signs of outdated wiring. These include issues like frequently flickering lights, tripping breakers, outlets that feel warm to the touch, and sparking outlets.

5. Water Exposure

Everyone knows that water and electricity don't mix. At the same time, though, many people still play with fire and expose electrical equipment to water on a regular basis. If appliances are plugged in near water sources in the workplace, you're asking for a shock or a more serious problem. Make sure that equipment is never operated in wet conditions. If you know that a piece of equipment has been exposed to water, consult with an electrician to make sure it's safe to use before plugging it in.

Start Preventing Electric Shocks Today

Now that you know more about common workplace electrical hazards, are there any issues around your office that ought to be addressed? If you need help dealing with these issues and preventing electric shocks, call an electrician. Remember, never try to handle electrical problems on your own. If you work in or around the Holyoke, Massachusetts area, contact Andy Ramos Electric today. We'll get back to you in no time with a quote for your project!