The safety of a workforce is very important in all workplaces, particularly the safety of workers exposed to electrical hazards that can potentially cause harm. Within the trade industry, builders, machinists, and other workers are surrounded by potential electrical hazards in their day-to-day role. From electrical wiring, machinery, and exposed cables, it is vital for the employees to know how they can remain safe at work. Here are some important tips to ensure safety in any trade working environment:
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Before any worker enters the premises, he/she should complete a risk assessment on site. Its purpose is to be able to identify the risks or injuries that could be caused. It should take into consideration the type of electrical equipment used, how it is used, and the environment that it is used in. There are five stages that must be completed in a risk assessment to ensure safety:
To ensure the safety of fellow workers when a machine is turned off, the lockout/tagout is a key procedure. It is especially useful when maintenace or repairs are being carried since it ensures the re-energisation of a machine doesn’t occur. All workers who use machinery should be thoroughly trained on the lockout/tagout program before beginning work, as well as being provided with the correct lockout tagout equipment.
The use of electrical adapters is useful to power more electrical machines but it isn’t always safe, particularly in a busy and crowded working environment that tradespeople often work in. If using extension leads, it should be ensured that appliances or tools plugged into the outlets does not exceed the maximum current rating stated for the extension lead. Overheating and/or fires may occur if power outlets are overloaded.
Safety signages are a must to help warn people of hazards, as well as to indicate or prohibit certain actions. Warning and dangers signs should always be positioned within proximity of the machine or equipment – for the benefit of both the workers and visitors or contractors who will visit the site. There are four types of safety signs that should be included within your workplace’s health and safety program: mandatory (blue), prohibition and fire (red), caution and safe condition.
Machines and equipments should always be checked for wear and tear, with regular services and cleaning. The goal is to keep machinery, tools, and equipment healthy and safe for as long as possible to avoid the need for repairs. By checking for signs of wear and tear, you are less likely to suffer any electrical issues and injury to workers without spotting the warning signs first.
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