Most office environments are considered to be a low risk when it comes to electrical hazards. But while this may be true when compared to other work environments, it doesn’t make the hazards any less significant.
Most electricity-related injuries occur due to the following:
- Poorly installed/maintained electrical equipment
- Faulty wiring
- Overloaded, overheated, or shorted outlets
- Flexible leads and extension cables that are prone to damage
- Using equipment that is believed to be dead but is live
- Incorrect use of replacement fuses
- Using electrical equipment near liquid or with wet hands
The most common reasons behind electrical hazards in the office are faulty equipment, unsafe installation or the mishandling of equipment.
Installing and maintaining safe equipment
Under the Electricity at Work Regulations (1989), employers are responsible for making sure all electrical equipment is safe to use and doesn’t pose a danger to anyone. They must ensure everything is installed correctly and maintained on a regular basis. This includes:
- Ensuring that all electrical equipment selected for workers is safe for work activities and for their intended purpose.
- Ensuring that all electrical equipment has gone through the necessary checks before being brought onto the premises.
- Ensuring that all electrical equipment is properly installed and maintained by a qualified person.
- Arranging for equipment to be regularly inspected for faults, to be isolated immediately if faults are discovered, and to be repaired by a suitably trained person.
- Preventing all live parts of electrical equipment from being accessed during normal operation.
- Providing all employees with information and training on electrical safety and the correct use of electrical equipment.
Office hazards that may lead to electricity-related accidents:
- Frayed, loose, or exposed electrical cables.
- Rattling plugs.
- Fishy or weird-smelling electrical equipment.
- Overheating equipment.
- Overloaded outlets or extension cords.
- Equipment that is not working properly.
Any equipment that is faulty, such as wiring or plugs, should be removed from the premises immediately by a qualified electrician. They should also be reported to your supervisor or whoever is in charge. It is important that outlets are do not overload, so be sure to plug equipment elsewhere if more outlets are required.
Tips for Minimising Electrical Hazards
- Switch off and unplug appliances when not in use and before cleaning.
- Switch off all appliances at the end of the day.
- Do not force a plug into an outlet if it does not fit.
- Do not run electrical cords through high-traffic areas, under carpets, or across doorways to prevent minimise accidents.
Get the best electrical services with CEB Electrical
There are many elements to electrical safety, so much so that it can be overwhelming. Finding a commercial electrician who offers a smooth and efficient service can make the process easier. Get in touch with CEB Electrical today to see how we can help.