Safety-related work practices must be used to prevent electric shock or other injuries that may result from contact with an energized circuit.
Electrical equipment needs to be free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
Live components should be deenergized before work begins unless it introduces additional hazards or is not feasible to do so. There may be situations in which trained personnel may choose not to deenergize a circuit. These situations could include, but are not limited to, interruption of life support equipment, deactivation of alarm systems, shutdown of ventilation equipment in hazardous locations or removal of illumination for an area. Where there is a threat of electrocution/injury, procedures must be established and followed for work on energized circuits.
Keep work areas clean and dry. Cluttered work areas invite accidents and injuries.
Preventive maintenance plays a key role in electrical safety and the prevention of electrical accidents.
Some common conditions to be aware of are:
- flickering lights
- warm switches or receptacles
- burning odors
- loose connections
- frayed, cracked or broken wires
- tripped circuit breakers
- wet or damp locations
If you must reset a circuit breaker, use your left hand and stand to the right of the panel. If a circuit breaker continues to trip, immediately report it to the Facilities department.
Special procedures should be followed whenever work is done near unprotected energized equipment and circuits, especially overhead power lines. Individuals working in such areas should be trained with the proper electrical safety procedures.
For further information on electrical safety, please contact Office of Safety.
A Ground-Fault-Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is a device to protect against electrical shock if someone would come in contact with a live (Hot) wire and a path to ground which would result in a current through their body. The GFCI operates by sensing the difference between the currents in the Hot and Neutral conductors. Under normal conditions, these should be equal. If working correctly, the electricity will flow from Hot to Neutral. However, if someone touches the Hot and a Ground, such as a plumbing fixture or if they are standing in water when they touch the hot, these currents will not be equal, creating a ground fault. This might occur if a short circuit developed inside an ungrounded appliance or if someone was working on a live circuit and accidentally touched a live wire. The GFCI will trip in a fraction of a second at currents well below those that are considered dangerous.
The environment in which electrical equipment is to be used must be considered. GFCI are required in the following work locations:
- Construction sites.
- Areas near water.
- Any additional areas as required in the National Electric Code.
Note: A GFCI is NOT a substitute for a fuse or circuit breaker as these devices are still required to protect equipment and property from overloads or short circuits that can result in fire or other damage.
If you have any questions or concerns related to GFCI's, please contact Office of Safety.