Use An Electrician For Electrical Safety In The Workplace

by Berwick Test And Tag


Posted on 25-10-2020 10:46 PM



Use A Licensed Electrician

If your workplace is due for  electrical maintenace, Find out if your electrician is the right one for you.
You want to be working with an experienced team who can quickly come up with a schedule and checklist.
All workplaces will require regular Test and Tagging to stay compliant with work health and safety laws.


When planning for maintenance work you should be following a schedule
Over time, electrical systems age and develop wear and tear just like your workplace, appliances, and equipment. It is crucial for every business site to have a well-planned electrical maintenance schedule in place. Scheduled electrical maintenance is an important part of managing work health and safety risks, but it can also lead to benefits like energy efficiency and lower power bills.

 

RISKS OF POORLY PLANNED ELECTRICAL MAINTENANCE

Most electrical accidents can be avoided when a workplace or home keeps their electrical appliances and circuits well maintained.

Industries such as construction, demolition and mining are required to have their appliances tested and tagged every 3 months.
This is because of the harsh conditions that could involve exposing the electrical equipment to moisture, heat, vibration, mechanical damage, corrosive chemicals and dust; which is likely to damage the equipment or reduce its expected life span.

Testing And Tagging

There are 2 types of contractors who can carry out your Test And Tagging

  • A licensed electrician with electrical qualifications and skills uses electrical test instruments that give actual readings using an insulation resistance meter and ohmmeter
  • The second is where a person not qualified in electrical work uses a pass–fail type of electrical test instrument known as a portable appliance tester (PAT), which automatically tests electrical equipment plugged into it. The result requires no technical interpretation. In this case, the person would need to have been trained and have satisfactorily completed a competency-assessed training course on testing and tagging using a PAT. 

 

Ignoring to do regular electrical inspections will  no doubt reult is  incidents like electrocution, electric shocks, and even fires
In severe situations, the consequences of electrical incidents can even be fatal.
At the same time, scheduled maintenance could enable managers or controllers of workplaces to discharge their duty of care over the health and safety of employees and others at the workplace.

The other side to poorly maintained electrical systems is the risk of your security systems failing 
Loss of income if you have outtages and work has to stop
Risk of theft if your workplace cannot be secured and propely lit.

Does New Equipment Require Testing and Tagging?

New equipment doesn’t need to be tested but it does require a visual inpection and to be tagged.
A visual inspection is to see if there is  obvious damage, defects, any modifications, or discolouration.
Checks for correct anchoring of flexible cords, making sure the inner cords are not exposed, the external sheath is not cut or damaged to reveal the insulation of the inner cords, looking for spreading of terminals, and checking for the twisting of conductors or any broken filling, by feeling along the length of the cord. 

Faulty or Damaged Equipment

When electrical equipment is faulty or damaged it should be pulled from use, have the end of the cord cut off, have an “ out of service ” tag placed onto the equipment with details of actions to be taken and arrangements made for its repair or disposal (if repaired, arrange for testing and tagging prior to use).

Electricity does not have to be high voltage to be dangerous or kill. Fatal accidents at work result from faulty equipment which have become live or from contact with worn or damaged flexible cords, switches and the like.

Do not risk putting a faultly appliance or tool where it could be mistakenly used again in the workplace or if you do dispose of it in a skip or bin - You want to ensure that a pass by does not take the item and use it for their own personal usage 

Electrical risks at the workplace

The aim of regular maintenance is to identify electrical safety problems within the work place, and by providing a comprehensive reoprat and suggested scope of work the benefits will be an improvement of safety and productivity.

The construction industry is most at danger from electrical hazards, accounting for 52% of all electrical fatalities in the us workplace.

Potential electrical hazards may be identified in a number of different ways including: 

  • Talking to staff and watching electrical equipment is used 
  • Regularly inspecting and testing electrical equipment 
  • Reading product labels and manufacturers’ instruction manuals
  • Talking to manufacturers, suppliers, industry associations, and electrical safety specialists
  • Reviewing incident reports. 

Overhead and underground electricity lines

Before starting any work near overhead and underground lines, you need to assess the risks and plan how these will be managed:. Overhead lines:. Heights, sway and sag of lines. Nature, height and shapes of loads. Approach distances and work zones. Underground lines:. Identify cable location, for example if you’re going to repair pot-holes. Talk to asset owners. Use insulated hand tools. For further information see our general guide for working in the vicinity of overhead and underground electric lines.

Section 4: buried underground power-lines. Section 5: water near electricity. Section 6: damaged power tools and exposed electrical cables. Topic 3: managing electrical risks.

Keep kites and flying objects away from overhead powerlines. Water is a conductor of electricity. If water leaks into the light or power circuits in your home, a fault may develop, which could result in a fire or someone experiencing electric shock.

 

Managing electrical risks in the workplace

For more information on managing risks see identify, assess and control hazards and the model code of practice: how to manage work health and safety risks.

Electrical risks at the workplace, fact sheet, safe work australia. Managing electrical risks in the workplace, code of practice, safe work australia.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

It is important that employees and / or health and safety representatives are consulted in the process when conducting risk assessments and workplace inspections.

Electricity health and safety council and queensland electrical education council 215. Electrical approval and energy labelling advisory committee 216.

To safeguard workplace health and safety , many sections of the occupational health and safety regulation provide guidelines on electrical safety and the appropriate equipment required to work on low and high voltage electrical appliances.

Safety Switches Save Lives

Serious injuries and fatalities may be prevented by the use of properly installed and maintained safety switches. These are also called RCD's - residual current device.

A safety switch/RCD are an electrical safety device designed to immediately switch off the supply of electricity when electricity ‘leaking’ to earth is detected at harmful levels.

Safety switches offer high levels of personal protection from serious electric shock.

Safety switches work by continuously comparing the current flow in both the active (supply) and neutral (return) conductors of an electrical circuit.

If the current flow becomes sufficiently unbalanced, some of the current in the active conductor is not returning through the neutral conductor and is leaking to earth.

Safety switches are designed to quickly disconnect the electricity supply when they sense harmful leakage, typically 30 milliamps or less.

This ensures an electrical leak is detected and the electricity supply is disconnected before it can cause serious injury or damage. 

Circuit Breakers are not Safety Switches. Circuit breakers act to protect applinaces by cutting power when there is a fault or overloading of the system. 

Use of Protective Equipment

Qualified persons are capable of working safely on energized circuits and are familiar with the proper use of special precautionary techniques, personal protective equipment, insulating and shielding materials, and insulated tools.

Determine if additional protective measures are required, including the use of ppe. Fprf said that the practice of placing machinery and equipment in a deenergized state for troubleshooting merits additional research and safety training.

Depending on the type of work and the risks involved, the following PPE should be considered: 

Face Protection—use of a suitably arc rated full face shield may be appropriate when working where there is potential for high current and arcing. 

Eye Protection—metal spectacle frames should not be worn. 

Gloves—use gloves insulated to the highest potential voltage expected for the work being undertaken. Leather work gloves may be considered for de-energised electrical work. 

Clothing—use non-synthetic clothing of non-fusible material and flame resistant. Clothing made from conductive material or containing metal threads should not be worn. 

Footwear—use non-conductive footwear, for example steel toe capped boots or shoes manufactured to a suitable standard. 

Safety Belt/Harness—safety belts and harnesses should be checked and inspected each time before use with particular attention being paid to buckles, rings, hooks, clips and webbing. 

Get Your Workplace Checked

By working with a reputable eclectrician for ongoing maintenance, you can manage potential work health and safety risks and fulfil your duty of care relating to the safety and health of your employees and others.

Are you looking for an experienced electrical contractor who can help you with scheduled electrical maintenance for your business? 


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