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May 21, 2010

Electrical Safety for Field and Office Workers

The ESFI has developed the Never Assume series of electrical safety awareness videos for electrical workers to address these topics:
  Blue_Bullet_Small2 Overview of electrical standards and regulations
  Blue_Bullet_Small2 Electrical safety for construction
  Blue_Bullet_Small2 Electrical safety for commercial and industrial workers
  Blue_Bullet_Small2 "Test Before You Touch"
  Blue_Bullet_Small2 Job planning and permits

These videos don't take the place of training, but can help build awareness of key electrical safety topics. Watch the introduction video here. But electrical accidents don't just occur in construction and industrial environments. Office workers can also benefit from electrical safety awareness. "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, power strips, and surge protectors," says Brett Brenner, ESFI president.

Follow these basic safety principles to help ensure electrical safety in the office:
  • Surge protectors protect equipment, but they do not provide protection from the potential hazards of an overloaded circuit. Make sure the electrical load is not too great for the circuit.
  • 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 conserve energy, and also to minimize opportunities for electric shock or fire.
  • Inspect electrical cords once a month to ensure that they are not frayed, cracked or damaged.
  • Do not place electrical cords in high traffic areas, under carpets or across doorways where they pose a potential tripping hazard.
  • Instead of relying on extension cords and power strips, consider having a licensed electrician install additional outlets where you need them.
  • Ensure that all electrical products and equipment are certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as UL, CSA, or ETL, and read the manufacturer's instructions carefully.
Learn more with these links:

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