16 Sep Electrical hazards and safety measures
Electricity is an essential asset in this modern world with the advent of technology and innovation. Electricity is crucial for the industrial sector and for the homes and small businesses. Its importance cannot be overlooked and it has become part and parcel of day to day life. It is therefore a necessity to understand electricity, how it works and its dangers.
Electricity is very dangerous and with the right condition can cause serious injury, death and destruction of property. Electrical injuries to the human body includes electrocution, electrical shock, burns and falls. Electrocution is the third leading cause of work-related deaths among workers and also at home. Electricity not only damages the human body, but can as well destroy property such as appliances and equipment. Electricity can lead to fires that burn entire buildings down.
- Exposed electrical parts are a great hazard since the live conductors can be touched and cause harm.
- Overloaded circuits are an electrical hazard since they increase the probability of a fire to occur. This occurs in scenarios such as many appliances plugged into one circuit.
- Defective insulation proves zero or negligible protection of the electrical circuit and also increases the chances of live contact with people hence increasing hazard and damage.
- When an electrical system lacks proper grounding, there is no earth connection to such a circuit which creates a dangerous hazard.
- Use of power tools that are impaired and lack insulation as a result of poor maintenance cause electrical shocks since they are energized but lack grounding.
- Overhead power lines running through our streets and roads and their transformers are not insulated and run a high risk of electrocution.
- The existence of wet conditions spells danger when it comes to electrical systems since they make a person become part of the circuit for electric current.
- Practice safe work environment procedures such as inspection of insulation cords prior to their use, staying away from all uninsulated conductors, not to overload a circuit and not having on metallic jewelry and objects around electrical equipment.
- In the work place such as industries, it is vital to train all personnel concerning electricity, especially those employees who deal directly with electrical equipment. They should be familiar with the standards of the National Fire Protection Association and its accords.
- Incorporation of overcurrent protection devices such as circuit breakers, fuses and ground fault circuit interrupters within an electrical circuit that will ensure maximum safety of the system.
- Proper insulation of the conductors in a circuit as well as cords of electrical appliances and equipment reduces the risk of electrical hazards such as electrical shocks and damage to appliances. Power tools should also be properly insulated and maintained.
- Grounding of the electrical system within a household or a workplace ensures the circuit is complete and earthed to the ground hence the surge or overflow of electricity is compensated and failure of the electrical system is minimized.
- In the event of an electrical fault, seek the assistance of a professional licensed electrician.