When thinking about where electrical hazards are commonly found, your first thought most likely is not in your office. The high volume of electrical equipment in a typical office can expose workers to serious electrical hazards, including: shocks, burns and fire if not properly selected and maintained.
Electrical accidents that occur in an office environment are usually a result of faulty or defective equipment, unsafe installation, or misuse of equipment (specifically extension cords).
When using extension cords:
- Avoid overloading outlets with too many appliances. Never plug in more than one high-wattage appliance at a time.
- Unplug appliances, when not in use, to save energy and minimize the risk of shock and fire.
- Inspect electrical cords once a month to ensure they are not damaged.
- Do not run electrical cords through high-traffic areas, under carpets or across doorways.
- Never plug an extension cord in another extension cord. If it is too short, request another one!
- When disconnecting an electrical device, pull the plug not the cord.
STAYING SAFE AT HOME
Even though electricity is commonplace, there is still quite a bit of danger associated with improper use. Carefully observe all safety measures when using electricity in order to keep yourself and your family safe.
Following these tips will help to prevent exposure to electrical hazards in the workplace:
- Check if all appliances in your office have been approved by the facility department or ICT (no domestic appliance at work!).
- Do not use appliances with cracked, frayed or broken cords.
- Keep walkways and doorways clear of clutter and extension cords.
- Never hang or suspend extension cords with staples, nails or wires.
- Check plugs to ensure that they fit securely into outlets. Never attempt to force a plug into an outlet.
- Be aware that loose-fitting plugs can potentially cause equipment to overheat and catch fire.
- Only use grounded appliances that can be plugged into grounded three-prong outlets.
- Is an appliance giving off a strange smell? Unplug it immediately.
- Ensure all appliances are turned off before leaving work at the end of the day.