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Common Electrical Hazards in the Workplace

Whether you are working on a construction site or in an office, there are several electrical hazards that you can encounter during daily operations. From damaged outlets to poorly grounded appliances, understanding the common electrical hazards in the workplace is crucial for maintaining safety. As a team of experienced commercial electrical contractors, BNR Electric knows how to spot and manage electrical hazards in any workplace. That is why our team has provided a list of common electrical hazards that can be encountered in any environment and how to mitigate them.

Learn what should be on an electrical safety audit checklist.

4 Common Workplace Electrical Hazards

The following electrical hazards can be encountered in nearly any work environment:

1. Poorly Grounded Appliances and Tools

If your office features a kitchen, it likely has a fridge, microwave, and dishwasher along with a variety of other small appliances. Over time, the cords and electrical connections can deteriorate, leading to a risk of electric shock and increased static. This same risk is present for tools used on a construction site, even if they are connected to a mobile generator. Ensure that all appliances and tools are in good working condition and that they are properly connected to a suitable outlet prior to use.

2. Damaged Outlets

An often-overlooked area of a workplace is the outlets used for computers, appliances, and other frequently used devices. If an outlet is cracked, discoloured, or smells like smoke, it should not be used and must be repaired as soon as possible. Using a device with a broken outlet can result in electric shock, sparks, and even an electrical fire. Ensure that all personnel are aware of any defective outlets to eliminate their use until repair.

3. Long and Loose Electrical Cords

For construction sites, extension cords are often used to get the job done. Though useful, extension cords must be utilized properly to limit their risks. Each cord must be the proper size/type for their intended purpose and should not be used for more than 30 consecutive days. Additionally, extension cords must never be plugged into another extension cord. Failure to follow these precautions can result in electrical shock or damage to any connected tools or devices. It is also important to ensure that extension cords are never loosely placed in common walkways as they can be a tripping hazard.

4. Overloaded Circuits

Overloaded circuits and breakers can pose a risk of electrical shock to personnel and damage to any connected devices. If you are constantly “tripping” the breaker at your office, it may be time to have your electrical panel inspected by a licensed electrician.

To learn more about common electrical hazards in the workplace, contact the commercial electricians at BNR Electric. Our team can be reached at 604-819-7887 and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.


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