Electrical Safety: Precautions
Precautions for avoiding electrical shocks include, but not limited to the following:
General safety precautions:
Safety to personnel and safe operation of machines and tools should be of utmost importance in all considerations of using electricity on the jobsite. Electrical hazards are among the most frequently cited OSHA violations. There are many specific standards that address electrical safety.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters:
The GFCI is a fast acting device that senses a small current leakage to ground. Within 1/40 of a second it shuts off the electricity and “interrupts” the current flow. It provides effective protection against shocks and electrocution. OSHA requires GCFIs or an assured equipment grounding conductor pro-gram on all construction sites and projects.
Extension cords are convenient ways to provide power to portable equipment. However, they are often misused, resulting in injuries and possible shock hazards. It is important to remember that extension cords are for temporary use only. Inspect extension cords for physical damage before use; check rating on the tool being used with an extension cord; do not use an extension cord that has a lower rating; do not plug one extension cord into another.
On construction sites, an electrical fire may occur when portable tools overload a power source. If possible to do safely, immediately disconnect the tool or power cord from the power source. This usually results in the electrical fire being extinguished. If the electrical fire has not been extinguished, a trained employee can use a Class “C” or multi-purpose fire extinguisher to PASS over the fire.
PASS – Pull Aim, Spray and Sweep