Looking for toolbox talks electrical topics? You’ve come to the right place! We have included 3 below that you will find useful during your next toolbox talk.
Toolbox Talk: Be Safe with Extension Cords
Extension cords are used all the time at work and at home. It’s probably because they are so useful! While they may make life easier, but they can cause fires or shocks if they aren’t used properly, or if worn out.
So, what types of extension cords are out there?
They usually come in either two or three wire types. When using two-wire extension cords, make sure it’s only powering 1-2 small appliances. If you need to power outdoor appliances or power tools, then make use of a three-wire cord. Why is this? Well, the third wire on this cord is a ground, so it should never be connected into an ungrounded electrical outlet.
You should always treat extension cords with care. Check them regularly for damage or wear. Don’t pull cords hard in an attempt to disconnect it from the electrical source. One thing that can be very tempting is to hide extension cords under rugs or furniture – or even though doorways, walls or ceilings. This act can be very dangerous, as damaged cords can cause a fire or shock!
You should never use extensions cords as a form of permanent wiring. Fastening them to a building or structure with staples is never a good idea. You should also avoid plugging two cords together in an attempt to make a longer one. When too many extension cords are used to power on appliances, it could reduce the operating voltage and efficiency of things that are plugged into it. This can lead to motor damage.
In short, extension cords are very convenient, and we use them for a lot of our daily activities. Even though they seem harmless, you still need to take proper care of them to prevent fire or shock hazards. Also, be sure you position extension cords, so they don’t become a tripping hazard. And always inspect them regularly to make sure they are free of any damage.
Toolbox Talks Electrical Safety
Fires are very destructive and can take years to rebuild afterwards. One of the main causes of fires is related to electrical sources. One way to mitigate this hazard is to have proper electrical installations and equipment.
Before making any choices about electrical equipment and their wiring, take note of the area in which they will operate. For example, an electrical device might be safe for installation in an area containing combustible dust, but it may not be safe in areas containing flammable gases or vapours.
Take hazardous areas into consideration when it comes to electrical installations including:
- Are flammable liquids present?
- Are those flammable liquids being transferred from one container to another?
- Is spray painting happening nearby?
- Are flammable solvents being used?
- Are there dangerous levels of dust in the area?
The most important thing to remember when it comes to electrical safety. Make sure all electrical hazards are mitigated and controlled.
A Toolbox Talk on Preventing Electrical Shock
You need to be mindful about the potential for shocks whether you’re at work or even at home. Our bodies have a low resistance to electricity, which unfortunately makes for a great conductor (like metals). The human body doesn’t respond well when the electricity passes through it. Electricity can cause thermal burns, heart trouble, severe muscle contractions, and sometimes death.
Usually, electrical injuries happen when electrical current flows between the hands and feet. This can happen when someone touches an energized line. The energy looks for the shortest path to the ground, and unfortunately, this path is your body. Afterwards, a person’s lungs and heart are usually damaged. One way you can protect yourself is to put an insulator between the energy and the point of contact. Things like rubber, porcelain, and dry wood offer great resistance from electricity, and can protect you from electrical shock.
So, how can you avoid electrical shock? Here are some helpful tips!
- Make sure electric tools are properly grounded or double insulated. Check for any damage on the outer case and be sure it’s clearly labeled as “double insulated” by the manufacturer.
- Be sure the grounding system is complete. If there is any doubt about the grounding, test it. Remember, ground testers aren’t expensive.
- Use heavy duty grounded extension cords with two layers of insulation and reinforcement between the layers. They are less susceptible to damage than household type cords. Remember, most flat cords are not heavy duty.
- Don’t mix water and electricity. This might be a no-brainer, but you should keep cords, tools and working/walking surfaces dry. Also, keep your hands and feet dry as well. Why? Well, the electrical resistance of wet skin is at least 100 times less than dry skin so this greatly increases the likelihood of severe shock from contact with a live circuit.
- Never work on or around a live electrical circuit. Always lock out the power so that only you have control over energizing the machine or equipment. Don’t take chances.
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