In any workplace, office safety should always be a top priority for the administration and staff. Even though most offices conduct fire safety drills and practice extensive hygiene protocols to protect their employees, one aspect of safety gets overlooked.
Modern offices are replete with electrical materials and equipment. Even in a typical workplace setting, electrical appliances like computers, laptops, coffee machines, and electrical wiring can pose a safety risk for your employees.
In addition, very few people may be qualified to handle electrical components and rectify an electrical hazard in your office. Whether you are inaugurating a new facility or looking to improve office safety, follow these seven simple tips to ensure electrical safety in the office.
Key Steps to Enhance Electrical Safety of Your Office
- Understand and Follow OSHA Electrical Requirements – The Occupational Safety & Health Administration, or OSHA, is an organization devoted to defining safety strategies for workplaces and helping companies implement them.
If you wish to review the electrical safety situation in your office, begin by understanding the OSHA safety guidelines
- Ensure Safe Use of Electrical Equipment & Provide Proper Training – All electrical equipment should be used per safety norms. Establish safety protocol for handling electrical cords properly, and avoid careless use such as –
- Unplugging by pulling the cord and not the plug
- Pressing or overstretching the electrical cords
- Fastening electrical cords with staplers or pins
- Hanging equipment from electrical cables.
Provide all employees with electrical safety training to ensure that all equipment is used with care to avoid accidents.
- Timely Replacement of Damaged Outlets & Cables to Avoid Electric Shocks – Any damaged electrical outlets and cables should be repaired or replaced as soon as they are discovered.
Exposed wires, outlets close to conductors, and torn or frayed cables are common electrical hazards and may lead to electric shocks.
- Put Up Safety Signs – One of the most straightforward solutions for office safety is to put up signs that guide your employees on safe electrical practices. However, safety signs cannot be an alternative to electrical safety training.
Signs should be put up to reinforce what employees have learnt in their training and may serve as a timely reminder for everyone.
- Never Overload Circuits – Placing a higher electrical demand on a single outlet or circuit may lead to overloading. It may cause overheating, melting of the socket, and damage to the devices plugged into the outlet. Closely monitor the load on each outlet.
If you find excess electrical demand on one particular circuit, supply that section of your office with additional outlets to help ease the burden.
- Regular Audits – Audits are essential in maintaining the safety of your electrical systems in a workplace. Performing an audit of your electrical materials means looking at specific areas where electrical hazards may exist.
Most offices should conduct an audit like this at least once a year to ensure electrical and fire safety for their employees. Regular audits will enable you to prepare a checklist of what to inspect.
- Use Extension Cords with Precaution – Extension cords are essential electrical equipment in an office space. Often extension cords are needed to supply electricity to equipment like projectors, printers, and computers. Establish a safety protocol for using extension cords and ensure they are used cautiously.
Even though electricity is a common aspect of how we live our lives in the modern world, it is essential not to take electrical safety for granted.
Electrical fires are a common hazard in offices and being mindful of electrical safety can help avoid such a disaster. Protection from electrical hazards is critical in an office environment where many people work together.