Are you confident that your commercial office is using best practices to protect your staff, customers and your expensive office assets? Improper installation and use of electrical components can cause significant damage to your property and even threaten the lives of individuals working within or visiting your facility.
Our team at Hawkeye Electric has come up with a list of the best tips to share to keep you safe at work! Need support for electrical work at the office? Contact our friendly team of professionals anytime.
Understanding Electrical Safety in the Workplace
You can see OSHA’s electrical safety requirements online, but what defines a truly safe workplace from an electrical perspective? You’ll find a variety of training, statistics, hazard recognition information and more on the OSHA electrical website — making it a fantastic resource for site managers.
Staying safe in the workplace requires regular checks to ensure your site is in full compliance with local and state regulations, something that can easily be overlooked with conflicting daily priorities. Electricity can be a serious workplace hazard, particularly if you’re accidentally overloading your circuits. Here are a few tips to keep your office safe.
Be Aware of Basic Electrical Safety Standards
Along with the OSHA standards, you’ll also find some great information at the National Fire and Safety Office here. These checklists and standards incorporate not only electrical security but fire safety information as well.
1. Practice Proper Use of Extension Cords
Buildings that are using older wiring standards may not be fully prepared to meet the demands of today’s electronics-heavy workforce. All of those devices need to be charged, which can result in a heavy load on circuits that weren’t designed to handle that level of juice.
One way to reduce the possibility of electrical fires is to ensure that any extension cords are not daisy-chained and that they are kept visible.
Putting extension cords underneath a rug or walkway may seem like a good option to reduce a tripping hazard, but it can result in excessive wear and tear on the cord itself. This can lead to sparks and ultimately a dangerous fire. Eliminate situations where an extension cord would need to go through a hole in the wall or ceiling, as this can also cause damage to the cord.
2. Review Moisture Protection in Your Buildings
It doesn’t require standing water for there to be an issue with your electrical systems. Sometimes, a slow drip or even just an area with a lot of condensation can cause problems.
Electrical professionals recommend installing a GFCI (Ground-fault Circuit Interrupter) anywhere that could potentially see wet or even damp conditions. This even means ensuring that your team has dry hands when working with electrical circuits, as any measure of water can dramatically increase the ability of your skin and other surfaces to transmit and amplify electricity. Even perspiration or atmospheric conditions can increase the danger of electrocution when your team is working directly with electricity.
3. Wear Proper PPE for Maintenance Tasks
Does your team have all of the proper protective equipment available onsite to perform preventative maintenance tasks? Even though you should also ensure that circuits are shut off and there is no electricity going to the area where you’ll be working, having the correct protective gear helps keep your workers — and the environment — safe.
Only qualified professionals should be working with electrical issues, so don’t hesitate to contact the pros at Hawkeye Electrical if you have questions or concerns or need assistance! Protective equipment for the eyes and face are required by OSHA, but rubber-soled boots and other equipment can also provide added protection.
4. Actively Look for Signs of Electrical Danger
Are any of your outlets emitting sparks? Do you see frayed or overloaded cords in your hallways? These are all warning signs that simply cannot be overlooked in a workplace.
Outlets that are close to their danger zone might be discolored or feel warm to the touch. It’s good to have a process in place for gathering this type of warning sign from your staff members, so you can investigate any triggers before they become a problem.
Lights that dim without being touched, flicker after several hours of use, or are otherwise unstable are also a huge warning sign that should be immediately addressed. If your maintenance team or staff feel a slight tingle when touching an appliance or an outlet, don’t let this slide!
Coach your team to know the signs of electrical danger so they can be reported immediately. Having a strategy in place to manage these situations helps ensure your workplace is safe for all your employees and customers and protects your investment in the office, too.
5. Schedule Assessments with a Qualified Electrical Inspector for Older Buildings
Older electrical installations can be problematic, so it’s vital that you schedule an assessment with a qualified electrical contractor if your building had wiring installed more than 25 years ago.
Standards have changed significantly over the years. While your building may not require a complete electrical overhaul, there may be small changes that can be put into place that will enhance the safety of those inside.
Be sure you work with a vetted and insured contractor or firm that will take the time to thoroughly review your current situation and make recommendations for improvement.
Focus on Safety with the Hawkeye Electric Team
Whether you need an intro to workplace safety or are ready to do a next-level upgrade for your workspace, the professionals at Hawkeye Electric are here to help. Check out our wide range of recommendations online or contact us directly at 480-784-6800 to better understand how we can support your office.
We strive to provide top-notch customer support for each of our clients and are always looking for ways to improve your office’s electrical processes. We share best practices and quick tips online so stay tuned on our website!