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Learn about the risks associated with working with electricity. This courses provides general information that's applicable to both electricians and any workers that operate electrical equipment.
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Assessing the Risk Electrical work that is improperly planned increases the risk to your own personal safety as well as the safety of others in the area.
The most common causes of electric shocks and burns are exposure to electrical wires, exposure to water, cutting through a live cable, old wiring and faulty appliances.
Before starting work it's important to identify all electrical sources. Once all the sources have been identified you should do a risk assessment, and plan accordingly.
Outdoor or wet surroundings Water greatly increases the chances of electrocution. Equipment is more likely to become dangerous, when it's water damage.
Confined spaces with earthed metalwork It's harder to avoid an electrical shock if you're inside a tank or bin.
Workplaces that use corrosive substances Exposure to corrosives and solvents can degrade the cord insulation.
Commercial environments Kitchens and manufacturing plants are more likely to use their electrical appliances more intensely on a daily basis.
Electrical Work Hazards Electric shocks caused by contact with exposed live parts that sends an electric current through the body With varying severity, electrical shocks can cause some minor pain, difficulty breathing, weakened pulse or it can be severe enough to make someone unconscious and stop their heart.² Serious burns are often found where electricity entered or exits the body In the most severe scenario it can also result in death.
Lock Out Tag Out Procedures In general LOTO is applied to any piece of electrical equipment that stores energy (i.e a capacitor) in addition to the cord and plug into the mains power supply. These can be identified with an electrical shock hazard warning sign.
Identify the hazardous energy point, choose the ** device** and attach it to the energy source. Attach a padlock to the device
Choose a tag and attach it to the padlock to let others know about the work being done
Meter box mounted RCD These are mounted within the main meter box next to the circuit breakers.
Combination RCD Usually paired with circuit breakers, there devices are frequently used to retro-fit into existing meter boxes with little or no space.
Portable RCD Protect the circuits of various devices that are connected to it, usually extension cords and power boards.
Powerpoint RCD Installed to a powerpoint these outlets can be distinguished by a test button found on the faceplate. These are commonly installed in specific locations such as residential bathrooms, to protect the appliances found there.
Inspection and Tagging of Electrical Equipment Under workplace safety laws only electrical equipment that has been tested and tagged can be used in the workplace.
Regular testing & tagging procedures ensures all electrical equipment has been verified by a qualified person to say that it's safe to use.
Inspection and testing of electrical equipment must be carried out by a competent person. This means that they need to be licensed or registered to perform electrical work under a law relating to electrical safety or occupational licensing.¹
Which of these people are allowed to carry out an inspection and testing of electrical equipment?
Recording Testing Results A record of testing must be kept until the next time electrical equipment is tested, with the only exception being the permanently removal of the said equipment from the workplace or if it's been disposed. the name of the person who carried out the testing the date of the testing the outcome of the testing, and the date of the next testing The record may be in the form of a tag attached to the electrical equipment tested and/or in a log book.²
What should you do if you suspect a piece of electrical equipment is no longer safe to use?