There is no doubt that electricity is a serious workplace hazard. According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, exposure to electricity was the cause of 154 work-related fatalities in 2016. This is why OSHA requires organizations to take measures such, as safety training, to protect workers from electrocution, shocks, arc flash, explosions, and fires.
As outlined in OSHA’s electrical safety standards, affected workplaces must offer comprehensive safety training on the best work practices when around electrical hazards.
Because of the potential for electrical accidents, OSHA states that only “qualified” workers can perform maintenance and repairs of electrical equipment. These qualified workers must be fully trained to identify exposed live electrical parts and their voltage, and know exactly what procedures to follow when they work on exposed live parts or are close enough to be at risk.
Workers that are “non-qualified” to perform maintenance on electrical equipment also must be trained in electrical safety if they could be exposed to electrical hazards while on the job. At a minimum, employees need to be trained in the skills and techniques necessary to recognize exposed live parts, determine the voltage of such parts, and the corresponding clearance distances.
However, electrical safety training should not stop there. Many organizations provide additional training on top of OSHA’s requirements due to the high risks of electricity to workers of all industries. In addition to electricians and others in the construction industry, employees in mass transit, utility, industrial goods manufacturing, and mechanic repair positions have historically been at high risk of injury due to exposure to electricity.
Recurring training sessions can help mitigate the dangers of electrical safety by keeping workers up-to-date with best practices and information. Educating workers about the types of electrical injuries, how they can occur, proper protection required, and lockout/tagout procedures is essential to maintaining a safe work environment. It can also cut down on costly OSHA citations, as improper lockout/tagout practices are in OSHA’s top 5 most frequently violated standards.
The only downside is as the number training sessions for multiple employees grows, it can become difficult to keep track of what training has been administered. This is where organizations should turn to an online system that can keep record of their training data, send out training reminders, and even provide online courses rich with necessary training topics. IndustrySafe’s training module and training content add-on offers all these benefits to employee training and help you keep your workers safe.