Electricity is vital in the existence of today’s world. It is used for industrial, commercial, and domestic purposes like room lighting, air conditioning, transportation, office and laboratory equipment, etc. All these provide comfort to people and make work easier. But electricity which makes life easier can also be dangerous if used incorrectly or carelessly. To protect ourselves from the dangers associated with electricity, we must never interfere with the flow path of electric current.
Most office environments are considered low-risk when it comes to electrical hazards, especially when compared to other industries. While this may be true, it does not make the hazards any less significant. These could lead to fire, injuries, and possibly death depending on the severity of the incident. Most electric-related injuries and property damage are usually the result of:
- Poorly installed and/or maintained electrical equipment.
- Defective wiring.
- Overloaded, overheated, or shorted out electrical outlets.
- The use of extension sockets that are easily damaged.
- Using appliances that are believed to be dead but are live.
- Incorrect use of spare fuses.
- Using electrical equipment near a water source or with wet hands.
Effect of electric shock in the human body
When an electric current enters the body, it can cause a physical and violent reaction which can result in a range of injuries such as minor or severe burn of tissue and organs, cardiac arrest, muscle spasms, death, etc.
Electrical safety tips on-campus
To protect ourselves and our property from the effect of electrical hazards, we must be cautious with working on or around electrical equipment.
- Daily routine.
- Check the power cords of electrical equipment in your office for damage or deformation.
- If you notice any damage or deformation or hear an unusual noise, do not use the equipment.
- Ensure the power cord is detached from the power source.
- Contact the IT Service Department or the Facilities Department.
- Attach a “DO NOT USE” tag to the equipment.
- Do not overload the electrical wall and extension sockets.
Each outlet in the office is designed to handle a certain amount of electricity. If you plug in too many devices at once, you may cause a small explosion or fire.
- Do not keep extension sockets in areas that cannot be seen.
- Do not keep extension sockets near flammable materials such as wood, plastic, paper, etc.
- Do not connect two extension sockets from a single wall socket.
- Avoid extension sockets as much as possible.
It is safer to use a wall socket than extension sockets.
- Keep electrical appliances or outlets away from water and flammable objects.
- Wipe up spilled water to keep the electrical outlet and equipment from getting wet.
- Make sure flammable materials (liquid, solid, or vapour) are well away from electrical sources.
- Do not operate electrical equipment with wet hands.
- Do not bring personal electrical appliances such as kettles, coffee machines, and extension sockets to the office.
- Avoid electrical restricted areas.
- At the end of the day, turn off all electrical devices from the power source before leaving the office.