July 13, 2021

We’ve talked a lot on our blog about electrical hazards in the home that you should be aware of and how you should take care of them. But what about in the workplace? 

Whether it’s an office in a commercial building or a construction site, both have a number of potential electrical hazards. It’s important that electrical maintenance and safety checks should be carried out by a professional team regularly to avoid any issues.

So what are these hazards exactly? Here are the 10 most common ones.

1. Worn and damaged equipment

With how busy the team can be, sometimes appliances and electronics in the office are neglected. They assume everything is working properly until the equipment gets damaged or worse, they get an electrical shock. 

To avoid this, routinely check for damage on cords, cables, and wires. If you notice any defects, have the item replaced immediately.

2. Insufficient grounding

This is perhaps the most common electrical hazard in the workplace. Without correct grounding, the risk of electrocution is higher. Have your grounding properly inspected by professionals.

3. Overloaded circuits

There may not be enough outlets in your office for the number of people who work there so you depend on extension cords. Always make sure that these extension cords are distributed evenly to avoid overloading the circuits. They must be placed neatly where they won’t be a trip hazard or get water splashed on them. It’s best to use smart extension cords with integrated on/off switches and have overload protection. Using adaptors is also a good idea.

4. Damaged insulation

Inspect the insulation on your equipment and make sure power is switched off when you do this. If it’s in poor quality, replace it with new high-quality insulation. Never use tape as a quick-fix to repair visible damage as this won’t hold and will be dangerous.

5. Incorrect wiring

Did you know that wire size matters? Probably not and we don’t expect you to. But the wrong-sized wires can overheat and cause a fire. If you’re unsure of the wiring in your office, it’s best to have a fully qualified electrician visit your workplace for an assessment.

6. Exposed electrical components

Temporary lighting, detached insulation on power cords, open power units… These are some examples of exposed electrical components, which can cause electric shocks and burns. If you spot any of these, make sure to put appropriate guarding mechanisms and warning labels, then have a professional electrician make the repairs as soon as possible.

7. Higher risk workplaces

Not all workplaces are created equal of course. Some are at a higher risk of electrical hazards. What does this mean? It’s workplaces with operating conditions that expose the equipment to moisture, heat, corrosive chemicals, and dust, to name a few. These places need to be routinely inspected and cleaned, and the equipment regularly tested.

8. Workers with pacemakers

If you have workers with a medical condition that requires them to wear a pacemaker, you must inform them of any potential electromagnetic hazards. Eliminate any risks to their health and safety as far as reasonably practicable. Have a qualified electrician check and assess your work environment so the workers concerned are informed and understand.

9. Lighting

Never leave the office with the lights still on (or any appliance for that matter). If your workplace still uses halogen lamps, they must be replaced with safer alternatives immediately. Any exposed wires from lighting must be safely and neatly tucked away. Make sure lights don’t overheat.

10. Human error

As mere humans, we make mistakes and can be forgetful. Have regular electrical safety talks with your team and put signs around the office that serve as reminders on how to practice electrical safety.

If you need your workplace inspected for electrical hazards, MAES is your go-to group of qualified and professional electricians. Call us today to set an appointment!