There are plenty of hazards that can rear their heads in any industrial setting, but one that may not get as much attention is electrical safety. When it comes to this kind of risk, companies often overlook it in favor of more obvious issues like proper lifting and carrying techniques or the unique threats posed by the machines or materials your company uses in the production process.
However, electrical safety is critical for every worker to understand, and for your organization as a whole to keep as a top priority on an ongoing basis. How can you do that? We have some suggestions:
1) Train workers in how to identify risks
First and foremost, training around electrical safety is an absolute must for your entire staff, regardless of whether they deal with situations in which shock hazards are particularly common, according to Manufacturing Tomorrow. Simply being able to spot and avoid risks, let alone follow all the rules that further minimize them, can go a long way in terms of keeping your facility's safety record spotless.
2) Keep the work that involves electricity to a minimum
At the same time, it's important to keep in mind that while there are many aspects of the work that involve potential electrical hazards, the amount of time employees need to spend working with or near them doesn't have to be significant, Manufacturing Tomorrow said. Again, most workers should rarely if ever come into contact with these kinds of situations, but even those who have that risk built into their job descriptions shouldn't have to take on that risk too regularly.
3) Put up signage
It's one thing to properly train workers for any kind of safety measure, but it's another entirely to consistently remind them of the potential hazard so that they stay vigilant on the job, according to Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operations. As with warning signs about dangerous materials, vehicle traffic and the like, putting up displays that remind people about electrical hazards will help them stay cognizant of the risk.
4) Keep better records
An industrial workplace is, in some ways, like a living organism, shifting and changing over time to accommodate the work that needs to be done; as such, you need to keep records of how those changes might affect electrical hazards, Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operations cautioned. In most cases, the answer might be "not much," but it's still something you'll have to keep tabs on. Otherwise, you risk someone being caught unawares by a hazard they might not have been able to recognize.
5) Regularly review hazards
Along similar lines, it's important to consistently review safety records, incident reports and new risks that might have developed in your facility so you can craft an electrical safety plan for the entire company, according to Machine Design. This, too, should be a living thing; a document that grows and changes over time to always give your workers the best chance to avoid these hazards.