Safety at Work

Safe Work Procedures for Electricity

In the US, 1 109 people die every year from electric shocks while on the job. Here in South Africa where load shedding and other electrical disruptions are so rampant, we expect this number is much higher. That's why it comes as no surprise that safety laws recognise electricity as dangerous and that it can kill. It's for this reason that you're legally required to protect employees who work with electricity. How do you do this? By following these two steps to implement safe work procedures for electricity...

Revealed: Two steps to implementing safe work procedures for electricity

Step #1: Assess the risk

Doing a risk assessment also applies when it comes to working with electricity.

You must carry out a risk assessment to identify the hazards and decide how to minimise or prevent them.

Do the following things when you carry out your electricity risk assessment:

  • Identify the hazards
  • Decide who might be harmed, and how
  • Evaluate the risks arising from the hazards and decide whether existing precautions are adequate or, more should be taken
  • Record any significant findings
  • Review your assessment from time to time (every three months is a good time interval, or as soon as there's a change to your electrical installation).
  • Revise it (risk assessment) if necessary.
  • When you've done your risk assessment, move on to step number two

Step #2: Reduce the risk

Once you've completed the risk assessment:

  • Use your findings to reduce unacceptable risks from the electrical equipment in your workplace.
  • Mitigate against these risks and implement control measures.
Important: You mustn't allow employees to use the equipment you've identified as a hazard/risk, if you haven't implemented the control measures. If you allow this to happen, the Department of Labour could issue a prohibition notice, says the Health & Safety Advisor.

There you have it. Your two steps to implementing safe work procedures for electricity involve assessing and reducing the risk. Make sure you do this to protect employees who work with electricity

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