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Electrical Safety (Jan/Feb-21)
Creating A Safety Culture (Nov/Dec-20)
Before You Purchase New Machinery (Sep/Oct-20)
Have You Conducted Your Periodic Lockout & Tagout Audit? (Jul/Aug-20)
Do You or Your Supervisors Really Care About Worker Safety? (May/Jun-20)
OSHA Issues Interim Guidance to Help Prevent Worker Exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Mar/Apr-20)
Protecting Employees When Performing Machine Operations (Jan/Feb-20)
Have You Recently Conducted Your Required Safety & Health Program Audits? (Nov/Dec-19)
Does OSHA Cite Employers Equally? (May/Jun-19)
Are You Ready For The New Year? (Mar/Apr-19)
Creating a Safety Culture Means Staying Informed (Nov/Dec-18)
Safe Lifting Techniques (Sep/Oct-18)
Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Jul/Aug-18)
Do You Know How Old Your Tires Really Are? (Jan/Feb-18)
Risk Assessment & Premise Liability Insurance (Nov/Dec-17)
Forklift Safety – You Can Save A Life Today (Sep/Oct-17)
Protect Your Employees from Heat Stress Related Injuries (Jul/Aug-17)
Lockout-Tagout from a Manager’s Perspective (May/Jun-17)
Do Your Employees Really Know How to Use Personal Protective Equipment? (Mar/Apr-17)
OSHA & Lockout/Tagout (Nov/Dec-16)
OSHA Increases Their Penalties Towards Employers (Jul/Aug-16)
Do You Know What Your Experience Modification Rate Is? (May/Jun-16)
Machine Safety (Sep/Oct-15)
Lockout, Tagout & Tryout – Are You in Compliance? (Jul/Aug-15)
Forklift Safety Practices (May/Jun-15)
Using the Right Power Saw to Cut Plastic Materials (Mar/Apr-15)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-15)
Ergonomics (Sep/Oct-14)
Respiratory Protection . . . Does Your Program Protect? (May/Jun-14)
First Aid Program (Mar/Apr-14)
Working with Composite Materials Safely and Preventing Dermatitis (Jan/Feb-14)
Preventing Winter Slips, Trips and Falls (Nov/Dec-13)
The Globally Harmonized System for Hazard Communication – Are You Ready For It? (Sep/Oct-13)
Safety & New Employee Orientation (Jul/Aug-13)
Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety (May/Jun-13)
Posting of OSHA Notices (Jan/Feb-13)
Staying Safe This Winter (Nov/Dec-12)
Personal Protection - Storage, Maintenance and Care (Sep/Oct-12)
Machine Safeguarding (Jul/Aug-12)
Is Your Lockout & Tagout Program Working? (May/Jun-12)
Getting Familiar with OSHA (Mar/Apr-12)
Is Your Piping Systems Properly Marked? (Jan/Feb-12)
Accident Prevention, Does Your Company Have An Effective Program? (Nov/Dec-11)
Defining FR – Flame Resistant Fabrics (Jul/Aug-11)
OSHA's Flammable & Combustible Liquids (May/Jun-11)
Safety & Health Program Check-up (Jan/Feb-11)
OSHA Is My Friend (Nov/Dec-10)
OSHA Standard for Control of Hazardous Energy Sources? (Sep/Oct-10)
Lockout/Tagout Program (Jul/Aug-10)
Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders (May/Jun-10)
What You Should Know about OSHA and Plastic Working Machinery (Mar/Apr-10)
Fasten Those Forklift Seat Belts (Jan/Feb-10)
My Back Hurts (Nov/Dec-09)
Fall Protection Program (Sep/Oct-09)
Accident Prevention & Investigation (Jul/Aug-09)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (May/Jun-09)
Carbon Monoxide Hazards (Mar/Apr-09)
OSHA Electrical Safety and Training (Jan/Feb-09)
Free Forklift ANSI Standards (Nov/Dec-08)
Worksite Fire Emergencies (Sep/Oct-08)
Machine Safety (Jul/Aug-08)
Ladder Safety (May/Jun-08)
Is Your Company on OSHA's Hit List?
OSHA Notifies Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates (Mar/Apr-08)
Safety Means . . . Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Jan/Feb-08)
Flammables and Combustible Liquids (Nov/Dec-07)
Designing-In Safety NOT Retrofitting Safety (Sep/Oct-07)
Back Safety and Lifting (Jul/Aug-07)
Machine Guarding (May/Jun-07)
Your Hearing Keep it for a Lifetime (Mar/Apr-07)
Light Up the Holidays the Safe Way (Nov/Dec-06)
Would You Risk Your Employee's Life? (Sep/Oct-06)
How to Control Workers' Compensation Costs (Jul/Aug-06)
Compliance with 70E Electrical Standards (May/Jun-06)
OSHA Is on the Move (Mar/Apr-06)
Workplace Violence (Jan/Feb-06)
The Aging Workforce (Nov/Dec-05)
The Safety Paradox (Sep/Oct-05)
Machine Guarding (Jul/Aug-05)
Effective Risk Management (May/Jun-05)
Safety Is Everyone's Business (Mar/Apr-05)
New Year's Resolution Safety (Jan/Feb-05)
Safe Driving (Nov/Dec-04)
Terror In The Skies Revisited (Sep/Oct-04)
How They Got Hurt (Jul/Aug-04)
In-Plant Air Monitoring & Analysis (May/Jun-04)
Safety on the Job and Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act (Mar/Apr-04)
Link to Article Archive (Jan/Feb-04)
A Supervisor's Duty (Nov/Dec-03)
Machine Safety – Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Sep/Oct-03)
Summer is Here (Jul/Aug-03)
Working Safely On Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) (May/Jun-03)
Does Your Safety and Health Workplace Program Contain All of These Elements? (Mar/Apr-03)
Methylene Chloride (Jan/Feb-03)
Safety Signs & Labels - Does Your Facility Comply? (Nov/Dec-02)
Indoor Air Quality (Sep/Oct-02)
When OSHA Arrives (Jul/Aug-02)
Facts About the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) (May/Jun-02)
Workplace Fire Safety (Mar/Apr-02)
OSHA 300 Form (Jan/Feb-02)
Preparing for Disaster (Nov/Dec-01)
How Much is a Life Worth? (Sep/Oct-01)
Material Handling Programs (Jul/Aug-01)
It's Up To You To Protect Your Skin (May/Jun-01)
When You’ve Been Handed the Responsibility for Safety (Mar/Apr-01)
A Fresh Look at Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-01)
Safe Work Habits (Nov/Dec-00)
The Importance of Material Safety Data Sheets (Sep/Oct-00)
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Jul/Aug-00)
Lockout/Tagout Program (May/Jun-00)
OSHA Violations, Citations and Penalties for 1998 (Mar/Apr-00)
Erogonomics and Machinery Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-00)
General Machine Principles (Nov/Dec-99)
SAFETY SOLUTIONS
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SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Electrical Safety
Recently I have been investigating some electrical fires that were started by electrical temporary power drops better known as "power strips". These potentially deadly electrical devices can be found in your factories, your offices and especially your homes. Many people purchase these devices in stores like Dollar Tree, Walmart, Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Lowes and elsewhere.

Most of these temporary power drops/power strips are manufactured in China and Mexico and many have prominent well-known names on the box. Many of these temporary power drops/power strips have been manufactured with undersized wiring which can overheat and cause a fire in your offices, your factories or worse in your homes. The only way that you can tell if you have a recalled power strip is to go to the Consumers Product Safety Commissions website www.cpsc.gov. Electricity is an essential power source in modern, automated offices. However, electrical equipment is potentially hazardous and can cause serious shock and burn injuries if improperly used or maintained.

Electricity travels through electrical conductors, whether the conductors are wires or parts of the human body. Moist skin as well as most metals offer little resistance to the flow of electrical current and can easily conduct electricity. A shock will occur if a part of the body comes in contact with an electrical circuit.

The electrical current enters the body at one point and leaves at another. The passage of electricity through the body can cause great pain, burns, destruction of tissue, nerves, and muscles, and even death. Electrical accidents usually occur as a result of faulty or defective equipment, unsafe installation, or misuse of equipment by office workers.

Electrical hazards commonly found in unsafe offices include:

  • Ungrounded Equipment. Most fixed equipment such as large, stationary machines must be grounded.
  • Typewriters and coffee pots do not have to be grounded. However, much of the newer office equipment is manufactured with grounded, three-prong plugs as a precaution. Never remove the grounding prong from any three-prong plug.
  • Insufficient or Overloaded Outlets. Overloading electrical circuits and extension cords can cause fires.

Unsafe/Non-Approved Equipment
Workers should not use or bring to work coffee makers, radios, lamps, etc. which are poorly maintained, unsafe, or low in quality and not approved by a national testing laboratory. Such appliances can develop electrical shorts and create fire and/or shock hazards. Equipment and cords should be inspected regularly, and a qualified individual should make repairs. Files and bookcases may push tightly against plugs in electrical outlets, severely bending the cord at the plug.

Walkways and Work Areas Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis and when used should be unplugged at night. Do not run extension cords across walkways or aisles. If you must run a cord across a walkway, either tape it down or use a cord runner to avoid creating a tripping hazard.

Plugs
To remove a plug from an outlet, firmly grip the plug and pull it from the outlet. Never pull a plug by the cord.

Equipment
Disconnect electrical machines before cleaning, adjusting, or applying flammable solutions. If you remove a guard to clean or repair parts, replace the guard before testing the machine or returning it to service.

Blocking Electrical Panel Doors
Electrical panel doors should always be kept closed and no materials should be stored against them. Panel doors and anything in front of them will become very hot if an electrical malfunction occurs.

So, in closing this month, if you really want to protect a life, look at all of your power strips, temporary power drops, surge protectors or whatever name you give them, write down the name of the manufacture, the model number and look on the CPSC government site. The life you save, maybe your own.

For more information, click on the author biography at the top of the page.

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