Workplace safety is understandably of the highest importance for business owners, but electrical safety in particular should be treated differently to avoid potentially life-threatening hazards. Electrical hazards are quite different as opposed to other workspace dangers, and there’s often a lack of knowledge amongst employees on how to ensure electrical safety.
Main electrical hazards in the workplace include shocks and burns, potentially fire-causing faults, and electrical fire accidents. These risks depend on where in the building electricity is used but become especially big when there is water or damp (such as pubs and restaurants having their ice coolers and other electrical systems in the basement). Finally these risks are not for the average employee or duty manager to deal with – electrical faults in commercial properties should always be handled by an experienced electrical engineer.
As an employer or a business owner here is where your responsibilities are, when it comes to electrical safety:
- Use the correct cable connector or couplers to join long cables together.
- Regularly check sockets are not overloaded with adaptors.
- Make sure the electrical equipment provided is always in working order/
- Electrical installations are installed and regularly maintained by industry professionals.
- Visually check extension cables and their plug sockets for damage, and replace if imperfections are found.
- Do not allow water and damp around electrical equipment.
Provided these simple steps are not followed, your business facilities are at risk of fire damage, and your employees’ health and safety is being jeopardised.
Below are just a few examples of what could go wrong, following a disregard for electrical hazards at your premises:
Tool and equipment damage.
If your employees have to work with electrical tools and equipment it is your responsibility to make sure they are safe to use. Check for cracks, exposed cables, wires and cords, and if you see any issues do not try to fix the tool yourself – always call a professional.
Always make sure the correct sizes of wires for the electrical load are being used. If your business happens to involve heavy-duty work, you’ll need special extensions cords as well. The most important thing for a business of any size is to perform regular fire risk assessments, which will identify any bad wiring or circuits.
Fuses fitted incorrectly
A fuse is fitted to protect a device from excessive currents. When a fuse is fitted it is meant to “blow” and cut off the electricity, if the current exceeds the rated capacity. As a business owner make sure to read the equipment instructions, and have a qualified engineer to install the correct fuses.
Damaged and exposed wires need to be treated with caution. Under no circumstance should anyone in the business attempt to touch the exposed wires or move them around. With damaged wiring there is a risk of ground faults and potential fire.
An electrical fire can have a cause as simple as a light bulb. If the bulb is the wrong wattage it can overload the wiring and it’s a potential fire hazard. Every time a light bulb is changed or a new pack is ordered double check that they’re the correct wattage.
The most important advice when handling electrical safety at your business is to always stay alert, organise regular electrical risk assessments, and have a professional engineer always at the ready.
Looking for a professional electricians to oversee your commercial properties? Rightio’s electricians have more than 5 years of experience in the industry, and are available across the UK.