Learn to prevent electrical accidents in the workplace with these expert safety tips for your next Electrical Safety toolbox talk. In this 5-minute toolbox talk overview, you’ll learn how to identify common electrical hazards, give employees training on the latest safety guidelines, and improve your electrical safety program to reduce the risk of injury or death.
Electrical Safety Toolbox Talk
Your workers do far more than simply swing a hammer or drive a nail. They’re the ones that make your company successful. And when an accident does occur on their watch, the consequences can be devastating for everyone involved. You know this better than anyone else – and so does your insurance company. Think about it. Do you think your premiums would go down if an employee gets hurt or even killed on the job?
First and foremost, you need to make sure that your workers are properly trained. This includes everything from knowing how to use certain tools and machinery to proper ladder safety procedures. It also means making sure they know what they’re doing at all times – even if it’s just walking across the street or driving home after work. After all, it only takes one bad move for something terrible to happen. Fortunately, we have some simple, yet effective tips that can help you avoid these types of negative outcomes in the future.
1) Don’t Get Burned
Do you know what’s great about electricity? It’s everywhere, and it’s pretty much the only thing that can power your entire life. Do you know what’s not so great? That it can be dangerous when you don’t know how to handle it.
The first major injury caused by electricity is burns. Burns are caused when your body comes into contact with the electrical source, thermal burns from electricity, and—in some cases—when electrical sparks start fires. To prevent any of these scenarios from happening, you need to avoid any contact with live electricity. Here are some good tips:
- Before using extension cords or power strips, make sure that they are in good condition and not damaged.
- All wiring that is exposed should be carefully done by a licensed electrician.
- All high-voltage equipment, such as power lines and substations, must be marked.
- When working around water and electrical appliances, pay extra attention.
- Always wear protective gear, such as rubber gloves and goggles, when working with electricity.
- Always turn off the power before you begin working on a circuit or appliance. Never work with live wires or on broken appliances. If you do need to work around electricity, always have a fire extinguisher nearby.
2) Don’t Get Shocked
A static shock occurs when you come into contact with an electrical energy source. When you get a static shock, it can burn you and give you anything from a mild jolt to more serious jolts that in some cases can be life-threatening.
Static shocks most commonly occur when working with faulty electrical tools and machinery as well as coming into contact with faulty power cords. Don’t let sparks fly! Sparks are small, hot flashes of electrical energy that occur when two materials come into contact with each other that can burn you and cause injury.
3) Never Work Alone
Always have someone nearby who can help you in case of an emergency. Check for hidden dangers. Before you begin any job, take a look around and make sure there aren’t any obvious hazards like power cords or open flames that could cause an explosion. If you do find a hazard, don’t work until it’s been removed carefully.
4) Don’t Risk It!
So you’re working on a project and need to cut a hole in the wall. It’s not a big deal, right? Wrong! It could be the worst mistake of your life.
Why? Because cutting through the walls of an electrical room is like playing Russian roulette with your life (and maybe someone else’s). You don’t know what you might cut into or where the wires are running. If you’re lucky, you’ll just get an electric shock that will leave you feeling a little tingly for a few seconds. If you’re unlucky, though, you could cause serious injury to yourself or someone else.
Know the difference between live and switched circuits. Live circuits are those that have electricity flowing through them at all times (like household current). Switched circuits are those that only have power when someone is pushing a button or flipping a switch on or off (like the lights in your home). If you’re working on live circuits, you need to be extra careful because the electricity can shock or kill you. If there’s any doubt about whether or not a circuit is live, don’t work on it till you are 100% confident!
5) Stay Safe Up There
If there’s one place where you can’t afford to cut corners, it’s when you’re working at height. A shock from electricity can cause you to fall off a ladder or scaffolding, which can turn a minor injury into a serious hazard that requires medical attention.
When working on a high ladder, pay attention to what you are doing and stay alert for any electrical hazards. Check that any tools you need to use are functioning properly. Keep your common-sense construction wits about you at all times, but especially when at dangerous heights.
6) Don’t Forget The Go-To for Toolbox Talk Guidelines
Workplace safety is important at all times, but even more so when you are working with electricity—because it can be dangerous. That’s why all electricians need to follow the OSHA rules and best practices outlined in the 29 CFR 1910 standard.
OSHA has developed several standards, including the Construction Safety and Health Guide (C-45), to help you comply with these rules and best practices. These standards cover everything from training requirements to equipment maintenance. They also provide extensive information on how to make sure your employees are using the proper equipment and working as safely as possible.
The standard also contains requirements for the installation of electrical equipment, and safety requirements for tools, materials, and construction practices. The 1926 standard applies to electrical installations in all areas of construction except those covered by 29 CFR 1910. The standard contains requirements for establishing electrical safety programs, electrical equipment, work practices and procedures, grounding and bonding of electrical systems, and temporary wiring involved in construction work.
Electrical Safety Toolbox Talk Made Easy
Safety is the most important thing in an electrician’s life. Without safety metrics, no one can consistently work efficiently. When performing any electrical task, it is crucial to take your time and use the proper tools. You should also follow OSHA regulations to stay safe. By following these tips, you can keep yourself and other electricians safe while working on electrical systems.
PLEASE NOTE: While our toolbox talks are written by commercial construction professionals and based on their first-hand experience, always consult with your own safety director and supervisor about best practices on your jobsite. This content and any related pieces of content serve to advise, but are by no means a substitute for a dedicated safety team and jobsite-specific guidance. AnchoRock is not responsible for any violations, hazards, and accidents that occur as a result of any construction professional using this content as their sole means of direction.