With hundreds of thousands of injuries and deaths due to electrical accidents, it has long been established that electricity is a serious workplace hazard, exposing employees to a variety of risks, such as electric shocks, electrocutions, burns, arc flash fires, and explosions. In order to help protect front-line institutional, commercial, and industrial workers who are or may be exposed to electrical hazards, Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA) has provided electrical safety standards companies need to comply with. The standards are to encourage organizations, including small businesses – to promote safe and healthy working environments for
Section S of Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations instructs employees who work with electrical equipment – to check insulation before they connect equipment to a power outlet. The insulation must be appropriate for the voltage and temperature conditions. Electrical safety equipment suppliers help companies comply with the OSHA insulation regulations by supplying equipment consisting of superior Insulating materials, such as glass, rubber and plastic to help them reduce the flow of electrical current and prevent electric shock, fires and short circuits.
Guarding, Inspection, Enclosure
In order to ensure that workers do not come in direct contact with any exposed electrical parts, OSHA requires organizations to guard, inspect, and enclose electrical equipment. High voltage tools and equipment must be placed in an enclosed location, accessible only to employees qualified to work with it, and out of reach of other workers. There must be signs, including words like “Danger,””Warning,””Caution,””High Voltage,” and “Keep Out” – to alert workers about the electrical danger and also to forbid entry of unauthorized personnel.
In Title 29 CFR, OSHA states that all electrical equipment must be grounded. Grounding creates a low-resistance path that connects electricity to earth, and helps the current to pass through to the ground without putting the operator at risk. This avoids voltage buildup, and substantially reduces the risk of injury if a malfunction causes the equipment’s metal frame to become energized.
Use of Circuit Protection Devices
OSHA requires companies, especially in the construction business, to use ground fault circuit interrupters, such as fuses and circuit breakers in sites and high-risk areas. These devices instantly interrupt the flow of electricity when too much current flows through them, and prevent electrocution. The standards also require that certain approved testing organizations should test and certify electrical equipment in the workplace before use to ensure it is safe. Boomerang Services & Supply Inc. provides circuit protection devices, such as grounding and short circuit kits, which automatically stop the flow of electric current if a short circuit occurs.
Safe and Sound Work Practices
OSHA describes electrical safety-related work practice requirements in subpart S of 29 CFR part 1910.These include keeping electrical tools in good working condition with regular maintenance, de-energizing equipment before inspection or repair, exercising caution when working near electrical lines, and always using appropriate protective equipment supplied by electrical safety equipment suppliers. Employees should also receive appropriate training when working with electrical hazards.
Scope of OSHA Guidelines for Electrical Safety in Workplaces
OSHA’s standards for electrical safety in workplaces are based on the National Fire Protection Association Standards NFPA 70, NFPA 70E, and National Electric Code. The standards cover many electrical hazards in various industries. OSHA’s General Workplace electrical safety standards are published in Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 1910.331 through 1910.335 — Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices Standards, and 1910.302 through 1910.308 — Design Safety Standards for Electrical Systems. OSHA also has electrical safety standards for marine terminals in 29 CFR 1917, for the shipyard standards in 29 CFR 1915, for the construction industry in 29 CFR 1926, and for long shoring in 29 CFR 1918.
Although OSHA operates a federal occupational safety and health program, some states and territories operate their own OSHA-approved programs. The standards may not be identical to the federal requirements; however, they must be at least as effective as the federal standards. Stay compliant with OSHA requirements, prevent electrical hazard, and enhance the safety of workers in hazardous – risk-prone environments with Boomerang’s electrical safety equipment.