Electrical safety is not just important for homes but offices as well. Numerous electrical products/ devices are used in an office, which means they can create hazardous situations of not taken proper care of. Unsafe installation of electrical devices, unsafe work practices, or equipment can result in electrical accidents. Make sure you use correct electrical products to keep your workplace in correct order and safe.
In this article, we will take a look at some common electrical hazards that can occur in your office and how you can prevent them.
7 Electrical Hazards in the Workplace
1. Overloading Circuits: Plugging too many devices into a circuit will heat the wires to a high temperature which can cause a fire.
2. Faulty or Damaged Wiring: Frayed, loose, or damaged wires can cause electric shocks and fires.
3. Water Spill on Electrical Devices: Water increases the risk of electrocution, so ensure that no electrical equipment is operated if it’s damp or comes in touch with water.
4. Improper Grounding: A grounded equipment obtains a low resistance path for the dissipation of current into the earth. Improper grounding can also be hazardous to your equipment.
5. Incorrectly placed Electrical Cords: Loose wires can prove to be a physical risk as one can trip over them.
6. Loose Fitting Plugs: Equipment plugged to lose fitting plugs can overheat and catch fire.
7. Use of Extension Cords: If there are any cracks or defects in the extension cord, it will lead to electrical shocks.
Devices to Avoid Electrical Hazards at Your Workplace
This is a safety device that can protect an electrical circuit from excessive flow of electric current. The fuse is designed to allow current through the circuit, however, if the current exceeds the maximum value, it will ‘break’ the circuit by melting.
• Circuit breaker
A Circuit breaker work just the way fuses do but they don’t get destroyed when activated. They basically open a switch, turning off the electrical current before the excess current can cause any damage. Before you reset the circuit breaker, ensure you unplug the electronic devices that were used when it was activated.
A ground-fault circuit interrupter is designed to detect even the tiniest of mismatch in the incoming and outgoing current in a circuit. When the electric current to ground exceeds a certain value, the GFCI breaker will de-energize the electricity immediately.
An Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) uses advanced technology to constantly monitor the electricity flow in the circuit. If it detects any unwanted arcing signature, it will de-energize the electricity instantly, thus preventing an electric fire.
Advanced Devices for Electrical Safety
There have been developments in the field of electrical safety. Let’s look at four advanced devices that you can use in your workspace.
- Dual Function AFCI/GFCI
These help in protecting your office from both arc-faults (AFCI) and ground-faults (GFCI) by detecting these hazards. If either are detected, the devices will quickly cut off the power to prevent a potential electrical fire or shock.
- Combination Arc-Fault Circuit-Breaker
This provides protection against both the parallel arcing conditions and series arching conditions. The former is hot to ground arcing condition and the latter is arcing that occurs along a single conductor where a portion of it is damaged. This causes the current to leap an air-gap to continue on its path.
- Surge Protector
These safety devices help in protecting your appliances against sudden electrical spikes. They look similar to extension cords and power strips, however, they offer more protection against sudden increases in the current flow.
- Tamper-Proof Receptacles
These receptacles prevent an electric current that is flowing from an electrical wall outlet unless all the slots are activated simultaneously. These are a perfect safety device to have at your office if you provide child care as children can stick their fingers into the sockets.
As a company, you need to prioritize the safety of your employees. By following necessary electrical safety rules, you can provide a safe working environment for your staff.