Electrical Safety in the Workplace

This paper tells that power lines were the leading causes of electrocutions, which in turn resulted in 42% of all electrical deaths in the workplace. Second on the list was poorly de-energized electrical equipment, at position three was contact with electrical parts that were mistakenly assumed to be de-energized as a result of errors in wiring, misplaced wiring, or re-wiring. Contact with buried power lines came in fourth, having caused 1% of total fatalities. In addition to this, the period between 1992 and 2002 saw 46,598 personnel suffer non-fatal injuries caused by electricity. 36% of those injuries were as a result of contact with light fixtures, machines, appliances, and tools bearing electric current, while 34% were caused by workers coming into contact with transformers, wiring, or other electrical parts. Buried power lines were responsible for approximately 3% of non-fatal injuries. According to 2010 statistics released by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), people who work on or around electricity suffer about 4,700 non-fatal injuries annually. Worryingly, this figure is for the United States only. Workplace electrical accidents or accidental contact with systems that are energized are also responsible for averagely one death each day. As a matter of fact, workplace hazards associated with electricity or electrical operations occupy three of the top ten spots in the list of leading workplace violations prepared by OSHA. Safety from arc flash and arc blast is an area of great emphasis for both NFPA and OSHA. NFPA 70E lists not only measures to take to prevent and evaluate arc flash dangers, but also offers recommendations on how to determine the PPE level that must be worn when handling hazardous parts, carry out arc flash studies, and work out incident energy so as to know flash boundaries.

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