Electrical Safety Program — Why Your Company Needs an Electrical Safety Program

electrical panel inspection working personnel

Look around you.

You will find that nearly everything we use today is powered by electricity.

As electricity has become ubiquitous in every factory and office, awareness of the necessary safety standards becomes indispensable for every worker and employee.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is a non-profit organization that strives for increased electrical safety at home and in the workplace. Every year, statistics on electrical accidents provided by ESFI help to reinforce the importance of electrical safety.

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Electrical Injuries from 2003–2017:

electrical injuries occurs in power facilities
electrical injuries occurs in power facilities

Electrical Fatalities from 2003–2017:

electrical fatalities working personnel safety
electrical fatalities working personnel safety

Understanding Electrical Hazards

electrical hazard warning symbol
electrical hazard warning symbol

NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, defines an electrical hazard as:

“A dangerous condition such that contact or equipment failure can result in electric shock, arc flash burn, thermal burn, or blast.”

There are several major risks associated with electrical use including electrical shock, arc flash, arc blast and burns.

So Why Should your Company Invest in an Electrical Safety Program?

IEEE Standard 902–1998 identifies the following reasons for practicing electrical safety:

1. Human Factor
We want to avoid electrical hazards because of the threat they pose our health and life. In 2016 alone, 154 electrical fatalities have already taken place. While this number is relatively small from a statistical perspective, it is staggering and unacceptable from a human perspective.

2. Business Considerations
Loss of production and damage to property are very costly for businesses. Any type of workplace accident requires time and resources in order to be dealt with properly. Statistics gathered by the NFPA reveal that the average electrical accident costs $80,023. This includes both workers’ compensation (medical bills and wages while unable to work) and equipment costs.

3. Regulatory Reasons
Many codes, regulations and standards exist pertaining to electrical safety. Various organizations have prescribed practices intended to enhance the safety of electrical work. Many studies have also been conducted giving way to detailed regulations and recommendations concerning electrical work. Failure to abide by these laws can lead to heavy fines on the company.

power systems studies standards and regulation citations
power systems studies standards and regulation citations
electrical worker safety osha compliant
electrical worker safety osha compliant

With an Electrical Safety Program in place, which sincerely complies with recommended practices, there will be less cases of electrical accidents and companies will incur fewer costs. This will ultimately help in setting up a healthy environment and positive image as workers will view the company as a safe and reliable place to work.

Let us know if you have any queries regarding this topic and do provide us with your feedback in the comments.

About The Author

Abdur Rehman is a professional electrical engineer with more than eight years of experience working with equipment from 208V to 115kV in both the Utility and Industrial & Commercial space. He has a particular focus on Power Systems Protection & Engineering Studies.

Abdur Rehman is the CEO and co-founder of allumiax.com and creator of GeneralPAC by AllumiaX. He has been actively involved in various roles in the IEEE Seattle Section, IEEE PES Seattle, IEEE Region 6, and IEEE MGA.

Leaders in Industrial & Commercial Power Systems Engineering