Electrical System Accident Prevention

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“I didn’t know it would break,” at least that was the eight-year-old’s explanation when she dropped and shattered her dad’s new smartphone.

Yes, accidents do happen, but could Dad have lessened the risks if he hadn’t left his phone within reach of his inquisitive daughter, or had a better case protecting it, or simply told his daughter that the phone was off limits until she was a little older?

Risk management is effective both in our everyday world and in our work world. But in electrical safety, risk management is more than just effective. It’s critical, and can be complicated, especially when the impact of not managing electrical system risks is injury or even death.

Accident Prevention Quiz
What’s the likelihood of an electrical system accident at your facility? High, low, or somewhere in between?
We’ve put together a 12 question Electrical Accident Prevention Quiz to help you test the preparedness of your operation. Take a moment to answer the questions and see how your business does.

  1. Has your facility ever had an electrical system hazardous risk assessment done?
  2. If yes, what was the date of that last assessment?
  3. Is your electrical one-lines current for each facility?
  4. Do you have oversite management and approval of ALL hazardous electrical work?
  5. Do you have confidence that you are using only qualified personnel for electrical systems tasks?
  6. Is the training of your ‘qualified’ person adequate for the complexity of the tasks you have him or her doing?
  7. Does your electrical system conform to the latest NFPA 70E, 70B standards?
  8. Are you confident that adequate PPE is used for the appropriate task?
  9. Is Lock-Out/Tag-Out procedures robust and are shutdowns of equipment your first approach to your risk assessments?
  10. What corrective actions are in place if rules and regulations are not followed?
  11. Is your qualified staff and management appropriately trained on electrical safety and risks associated with your facilities?
  12. Do you have an on-going electrical system maintenance program in place?

If you had problems answering two or more questions, then you definitely need to reassess your electrical system’s operation. Remember: Accidents do happen. However, the key to managing electrical system risks is using the right person, with the right process, and the right tools. Gaps in any or all of these three areas impact the likelihood of injuries.