The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is encouraging employers to promote electrical safety this May, which is National Electrical Safety Month, by increasing employee awareness of the electrical hazards that may exist in an office setting.
The modern office environment has changed dramatically in recent years as a result of new office technologies and an increased reliance on electrical equipment. Improper use of this workplace equipment can cause serious electrical shock and burn injuries.
“Electrical accidents that occur in an office environment are usually a result of faulty or defective equipment, unsafe installation, or misuse of equipment – specifically, extension cords, power strips, and surge protectors,” says Brett Brenner, president of the Electrical Safety Foundation International.
National Electrical Safety Month is a great time to review workplace electrical safety practices. Effective electrical safety programs increase safety awareness, provide established safety guidelines, and ensure the proper tools and technology are used to mitigate the risks associated with electrical safety hazards.
Awareness of electrical hazards is critical to preventing accidents and creating a safer work environment. Following basic safety principles can help to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you:
- Surge protectors protect equipment, but they do not provide protection from the potential hazards of an overloaded circuit. Make sure the electrical load is not too great for the circuit.
- Avoid overloading outlets with too many appliances. Never plug in more than one high-wattage appliance at a time.
- Unplug appliances when not in use to conserve energy, but also to minimize the opportunities for electric shock or fire.
- Inspect electrical cords once a month to ensure that they are not frayed, cracked, or damaged.
- Do not place electrical cords in high traffic areas, under carpets or across doorways where they pose a potential tripping hazard.
- Instead of relying on extension cords and power strips, consider having a licensed electrician install additional outlets where you need them.
- Ensure that all electrical products and equipment are certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as UL, CSA, or ETL, and read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
For more information about ESFI and National Electrical Safety Month, visit www.electrical-safety.org.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety in the home and the workplace. ESFI proudly sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May, and engages in public education campaigns throughout the year to prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities.