Staying Safe at Work

Problems can occur. Electrical faults do happen – and there’s little you can do about those, except call an electrician! But there are things you can do, and practices you can adopt, to ensure the electrics in your workplace run smoothly and safely. The following tips may help.

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Electricity is essential to the modern world, but it needs to be handled with care and respect – in the workplace as well as in the home.

 

If anything, more so. Health and safety is something we should all be aware of, all the time, wherever we are and whatever we’re doing. Workplace HSE regulations are there for a reason.

 

Problems can occur. Electrical faults do happen – and there’s little you can do about those, except call an electrician!

 

But there are things you can do, and practices you can adopt, to ensure the electrics in your workplace run smoothly and safely. The following tips may help.

 

 

If it’s damaged, don’t use it


Industrial power tools encounter a fair amount of wear and tear, and most commercial power tools are correspondingly robust. Nonetheless, damage can occur, compromising the safety of the item. Don’t be tempted to do ‘just one more job’! Unplug it, set it aside and get it properly fixed by someone qualified to do so.

 

 

If it’s frayed, be afraid


Electrical wiring requires insulation, but over time the plastic or rubber coating the wires can become frayed or cracked. In the worst cases, this can lead to electrical fires or electric shock. Insulating tape is not the answer! Damaged cables should be repaired or replaced by a qualified electrician.

 

 

Electricity and water don’t mix


Obviously there are many electrical devices designed to be used with water – pressure washers for instance, or electric kettles – but in all cases the power unit is kept well protected from the water. If your office equipment is unprotected, and it gets wet, switch it off and get it properly checked. It’s an obvious point, but don’t switch on lights or equipment with wet hands! Water around electricity significantly increases the chance of electrocution.

 

 

Fixing fuses


Annoying, aren’t they? But fuses are there for a reason: to blow, and thereby cut the current, if an appliance malfunctions. If a fuse blows, replace it with one of the same wattage. And if that one blows, your appliance needs the attention of a qualified electrician.

 

 

Socket to ‘em


Ideally an office should have one electrical socket per item, but the proliferation of plug-in office equipment – laptops, monitors, printers, you name it – means that it can be hard to power everything without using some sort of socket multiplier. If this is the case, don’t use a basic block adapter. Instead, choose a fused, multi-way extension lead with surge protection.

 

 

No smoking!


Smoking has been banned in enclosed workplaces since 2007, but faulty electrical equipment has no respect for rules. Sparks, smoke, or a smell of hot plastic are (unsurprisingly) signs that all is not well. Turn off the equipment immediately, and get help from a qualified electrician.

 

 

Get grounded


Earthing, or grounding, protects you from electric shock. A protective conductor provides a path for the fault current to flow to earth. The protective device (either a circuit-breaker or fuse) also switches off the electric current to the circuit that has the fault. All electrical installations, systems and devices must be earthed. If not, you’re at risk of electrocution.

 

 

Switch it off!


You wouldn’t go out to work and leave the TV on all day, would you? But it’s amazing how many office workers simply walk away at the end of the day, leaving the laptop, external monitor and printer switched on. Of course, you may have processes that need to run overnight. If not, encourage your staff to turn things off when they leave. Doing so reduces the risk of fire – and saves money too!

 

 

In safe hands

If you’re reading the above tutting, and muttering ‘most of this is common sense’ – you’re right, but there’s no harm in being reminded from time to time. We can never overstate the importance of safety around electrical devices.

 

Our experienced, qualified electrical consultants can provide a comprehensive safety check of your premises and equipment. A clean bill of electrical health will give you and your employees peace of mind, and where there are safety issues we’ll make suggestions and recommendations to protect and upgrade your electrical systems and appliances.

 

To make an appointment for our electricians to visit, call 01508 488007 or email enquiries@excelelectrical.co.uk.

 

Excel Electrical. The power’s in your hands.

 

 

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