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8 Types of Electrical Hazard in the Workplace

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8 types of electrical hazard in the workplace

It’s very easy to fall victim to an electrical hazard in the workplace. Many assume that only poorly maintained businesses with ignorant staff suffer from injuries and serious incidents. But that’s simply not true.

Whether it is overloading sockets or not noticing a kitchen appliance is showing wear and tear – there are many electrical risks that all employees should be aware of. Along with knowledge of the Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) and Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), everyone in the workplace should ensure they are staying compliant.

Read on for 8 electrical hazards that everyone should recognise in the workplace.

1. Faulty wiring

If appliances such as heaters, kettles and printers are not properly maintained and compliant with industry standards, you are more likely to end up with a dangerous working environment.

2. Badly installed or maintained electrical equipment

Ensure that all electrical equipment is checked for faults on a regular basis for peace of mind and compliant with health and safety standards. Using an experienced and reputable electrician will also help you to avoid incidents due to bad installation.

3. Exposed live wires

Temporary or faulty installations run a higher risk of leaving you with exposed live wires, which can result in shocks and burns. For example, a light fitting that isn’t covered or a broken plug socket. It is essential that all electrical components are covered up correctly and safely.

4. Overloaded sockets

So many pieces of office equipment and appliance needs to be plugged in for use. As a result, sockets begin to get overloaded, leading to fire risks. Signs that your sockets are overloaded include a smell of hot plastic, sparks or smoke, scorch marks around a socket, plug or appliance, damaged or frayed leads and fuses that keep blowing.

5. Electrical exposure to water

Hand washing has become so much more of a habit since the pandemic – and rightly so. But it’s important to remember that water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Anyone working in wet conditions should wear personal protective equipment and have adequate training to avoid electric shocks.

6. Overhead power lines

Relating primarily to those who work in construction, contact with an overhead power line is one of the most dangerous electrical hazards. They carry the strongest voltage and so you are likely to be electrocuted or suffer from severe burns if in contact with them.

7. Damaged insulation

Electrical insulation should always be in excellent shape. But as there are so many ways that can create wear and tear, such as electrical stress, mechanical damage, dirt, excessive heat or cold – it is important to replace components as soon as damage is noticed.

8. Improper grounding

Grounding (or earthing) is essentially a backup plan to ensure any excess from installations travel safely back to the ground. If this doesn’t happen, you can be exposed to the full current of electricity as it has nowhere else to go, except through you.

Keep your business safe from electrical hazards

Electrical maintenance is vital if you want to avoid hazards in the workplace. With a fully trained team of electrical contractors in Yorkshire, Volta Compliance can help your business do exactly that.

To find out more or arrange an electrical inspection, contact us on 0113 397 1361 or email [email protected].

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Richard Carr Volta Compliance
Richard Carr
Managing Director
Richard is the Director of Volta Compliance. He is a fully qualified approved electrician graded with the JIB. Richard has over 20 years electrical experience working on commercial and industrial installations.