Electricity Do's and Don'ts: How to Keep the Workplace Safe

Electric shock can cause severe muscle contractions, broken bones, irregular heart rhythm, trouble breathing, entrance and exit burns, and of course death(i.e. electrocution).

  • Keep all electric devices far away from water: water is very conductive, so the electricity will travel through the water.
  • Fuses do not protect you from an electrical shock. The time it takes for a fuse to break is not fast enough to avoid shock. Use a Residual Current Device instead.
  • Don't use extension cords on a permanent basis. They are only designed for short term/temporary use.
  • Don't run cords under carpets. They can be come frayed and you wouldn't know about it.
  • If you have pets, don't hide electrical cords. Pets like to gnaw on things and you won't be aware of any damage if your cords are hidden behind furniture.
  • Don't touch someone that is being electrocuted, you will also get electrocuted, turn off the power at the source first.
  • Don't try to use an object to move a live wire. The electricity can arc from the wire to you. Turn off the power at the source first.
  • Know ahead of time where your home's fuses and circuit breakers are, and how to turn them off.
  • Use plastic plug covers to cover wall plugs so children can not place objects inside them.
  • If an accident occurs, and there is an electric wire hanging overhead stay in your car. If you try to get out, touching the ground, especially if wet, can get you electrocuted. Don't touch any parts in your car, including the ignition key, radio buttons, door handle, etc. Wait in your car for help.
  • Never use a fork or a knife to remove stuck toast in the toaster. It is electricity that causes the elements to heat up. Unplug the toaster first.
  • Never touch a stove element while the stove is on. Again, it is electricity that causes the elements to heat up.
  • If you do get electrocuted, even if you think you are fine, you should seek medical help, as the heart muscle can be affected without any serious warning signs until a few hours later.
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  1. After serving fifty years at the electrical trades I have see quite a few hazards that were supposed to be temporary. I have seen shoddy and dangerous work by DIYers, that think you JUST splice the white to the white & black to the black and whatever you are wiring will work. WRONG ! Whether you need a light fixture hung or a switch changed, if you do not have proper supervision CALL AN ELECTRICIAN. Here are some reasons to do that.

    1. There are not only the correct connections to make but there are prescribed methods of making a good, accepted connection. If someone was to get hurt or an electrical fire start, insurance companies can deny the claim for unqualified work.

    2. If outlets for light, heat or power are being installed new or being replaced there are prescribed methods for replacement or additional work also. Same conditions as in # 1 above.

    3. Working conditions may require snaking wires through cavities in your building. If it is an old building it is possible to catch an existing cable or wire with your snake wire. If it penetrates the insulation you may get burned or start a fire, as the snake can turn red hot.

    4. There is no feeling like getting everything apart at your point of starting and find that you need a piece of material or a tool you do not own or are even aware exists. Now you have lost time and added expenses for a one time project.

    5. Doing it yourself you don't have the advantage of the contractors insurance policy in case of an EXTREME condition that causes injury or damage. If you as a DIYer do not notify your insurance company you will have your claim denied. Usually they will insist on a town / city permit and inspection.

    6. When I was in business (retired now) and I got a call to wire a DIY job into the electrical panel, my first question was "Are you going to remove the work you did or are you going to pay me to do it?" A licensed electrician, is responsible for the whole project that his contract describes. That is how his insurance company would know what to cover.

    7. How would a DIYer handle opening up a ceiling for a new light outlet and find he just cut a hole in the ceiling where 3 wires are stapled to the bottom of a rafter. A trained electrician can either avoid this problem or repair the area, with everything intact.

    8. SO. Now you decide to proceed anyway. You go to your discount supplier to buy materials that you have a vague idea of their use or potential hazards on the word of a clerk that knows less than you. You have either purchased the wrong style boxes or wrong size wire. Now you spend the time to swap the items and start again. An electrician should come to work with a variety of commonly used items in various sizes. He knows the proper wire sizes and uses. He has all the needed tools and EXPERTISE for a safe job.

    Save time, Save Money, Save Embarrassment, Save your Property & SAVE YOUR CHILD'S LIFE !!!

    Kelly above was correct in the fact that Once you are ELECTROCUTED you are DEAD !!!

  2. Just to let you know, electrocution means death. So when it is said '•If you do get electrocuted, even if you think you are fine, you should seek medical help, as the heart muscle can be affected without any serious warning signs until a few hours later.' or '•Don't touch someone that is being electrocuted, you will also get electrocuted, turn off the power at the source first.', it is incorrect. If you are electrocuted, you will die. A shock is survivable,not electrocution. Also it should really be specified when mentioning that one should not hide wires, they should also not be left out for animals to chew. Wires should be cased and there are multiple available modes in which that can be done. They can be stapled to the floor (in the corner) or to the wall and a casing put around them, which is one of the best ways. Just thought you should correct that. It makes an unintelligent impression.

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