Electrical safety is an important theme at work, and at home. In the workplace, according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), electrical fatalities in the workplace saw a 24% decrease in 2020 from 2019, however the overall number of work place electrical injuries has increased over the past two years. At home, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) found that 47,700 home fires in the U.S. are caused by electrical failures or malfunctions each year. These fires cause 1.4 billion in property damage as well as the human cost of injuries and deaths.
A major contributor to these events both at work and at home is overloaded circuits.
Warm or discolored wall plates
Flickering, blinking, or dimming lights
Frequently tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses
Crackling, sizzling, or buzzing from receptacles
Burning odor coming from receptacles or wall switches
Mild shock or tingle from appliances, receptacles, or switches
Never use extension cords or multi-outlet converters for appliances
All major appliances should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet
Only plug one heat producing appliance (toaster, toaster oven, waffle maker, etc.) into a receptacle outlet at a time
Only use light bulbs in lamps and fixtures that are the appropriate wattage according to the fixtures ratings
INSPECT TOOLS &
Check the condition of the plug to identify bends, cracks, foreign material, or missing ground
Look over the length of the cord for signs of damage such as cracks, cuts, discoloration or
indications of damage to the wires inside
When you turn it on, you must watch for sparks or flickering of indicator lights, and pay attention to burning smells or signs of overheating
Any electrical tools or appliances displaying these warning signs must not be used and either taken to be repaired by a qualified repair person or disposed of properly. Taking these steps at home or at work can prevent electrical injury or fire. They are simple items that do not take a lot of time to do, but have the potential to prevent tragedy and protect lives.
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Browse the images below to see examples used in these hazard recognition and safety training exercises.