London is highly industrious. Some of its industries use water for production and manufacturing. It is unavoidable to work in wet conditions in this case and sometimes it may pose risk to workers and property.
Harm may be caused to any person when they are exposed to ‘live parts’ that are either in contact directly or indirectly by means of a conducting object or material. Voltages over 50 volts AC or 120 volts DC are considered hazardous. Wet conditions provide favorable conditions for electricity conduction.
Shocks resulting from faulty equipment may cause severe and permanent injury and may also lead to indirect injuries, due to falls from ladders, scaffolds, or other work platforms. Faulty electrical equipment may also lead to fires. Apart from causing injuries and loss of life, fires cause damage to plant, equipment and property. Below are tips to avoid electric shock in wet conditions.
Wear protective gear
Ensure that yours workers are wearing protective gear while working with electricity appliances in wet conditions. Gloves and boots protect hands and feet from direct contact with wires. When standing on a wet surface, boots act as a circuit breaker to an electric current passing through water. Working coats and overalls protect the entire body from contact with electricity appliances.
Installing ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)
For an industry with usually wet floors and walls, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions with respect to the use of a GFCI. Test permanently wired GFCIs monthly, and portable devices before each use. Press the “test” and “reset” buttons. Plug a “night light” or lamp into the GFCI-protected wall outlet (the light should turn on), then press the “TEST” button on the GFCI. If the GFCI is functioning properly, the light should go out. If not, the GFCI should be repaired or replaced. Press the “RESET” button on the GFCI to restore power.
If the “RESET” button pops out but the “night light” or lamp doesn’t go out, it means that the GFCI has been improperly wired and does not offer shock protection at the specific wall outlet. Hire a qualified electrician to correct any wiring errors. This will limit electric shock mostly on wet conditions.
Never Use Extension Cords as Permanent Wiring in industries with wet conditions
In a wet environment, use extension cords only to supply power temporarily to an area that does not have a power outlet. It is advisable to keep extension cords away from heat, water and oil. These may damage the insulation and result to shock. Vehicles should not be allowed to pass over unprotected extension cords. Extension cords should be put in protective wire way, conduit, pipe or protected by placing planks alongside them.
Inspect Cords and Plugs
Check extension cords and plugs daily to ensure that they are not in any contact with water. Never use, and discard if worn or damaged. Extension cords that feel more than comfortably warm should be checked by an electrician. Avoid contact of water with the plugs.
Avoid Octopus Connections
This is where several items are plugged into one outlet. This may expose the plug to shock conditions mostly in wet conditions. Avoid disconnecting power supply by pulling or jerking the cord from the outlet. Pulling the cord causes wear and may cause a shock.
Avoid being too close power overhead especially in wet conditions
Avoid working close to power lines. Recommended distances vary by authority and/or utility companies. Check with both your authority and electrical utility company when working, driving, parking, or storing materials close to overhead power lines.
Electric Shocks depending on certain conditions, may be fatal, even at relatively low voltages. Wet conditions pose extremely high risks to human health and property