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What are the Top Electrical Hazards in the Workplace?

What are the Top Electrical Hazards in the Workplace?

Construction, manufacturing, and utility jobs are some of the leading industries in electrical accidents each year. It is estimated that about 9% of injury related deaths on construction sites are the result of electrocution and there are numerous electrical hazards construction workers are exposed to on a regular basis.

“According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are around 12 workplace injury fatalities every day in the U.S. Unfortunately, electrical accidents cause numerous injuries and even result in many deaths every year.”

The top electrical hazards in the workplace include exposed parts and electrical wires, damaged insulation, overhead power lines, improper use of equipment, wet conditions, and a power supply that is not grounded. Electrical hazards can have a variety of consequences, ranging from electrocution and shocks, to fires and even explosions. The outcomes of these hazards can be detrimental, often causing long-term complications for the worker if they survive the incident.

“In 2019, there were 166 electrical fatalities in the United States, with 8% of all electrical injuries fatal. The highest electrical fatality rate was in the construction industry, with utility workplaces the second highest.”

Even if a worker thinks they’re working safely, accidents do happen. There are steps that employers can take to minimize these risks – such as safety training, personal protective equipment, and regular inspections of both the equipment and job site.

 

See the full article here for more details on the common electrical hazards in the workplace.

How often should electrical equipment be inspected?

OSHA Requirements for Electrical Equipment Inspection

Q: How often should electrical equipment be inspected?

That is determined by federal OSHA requirements for worker safety. Additional inspections may be required by local public safety, building, and fire regulations. While OSHA doesn’t have a specific rule as to how often electrical equipment must be inspected, they do follow the Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace (NFPA 70E) and use that as their guide while inspecting workplace violations. The National Electrical Code (NFPA 70), Guide on Electrical Inspections (NFPA 78), Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace (NFPA 70E), and National Electrical Safety Code (ANSI C2) all have specific electrical systems and equipment inspection procedures. In addition to those procedures, OSHA also requires that all instruments, equipment, and associated leads, power cords, cables, probes, and connectors are visually inspected for external damage prior to each use.

 

Read more from the full article here on the OSHA requirements for electrical equipment inspections

 

OSHA NEWS RELEASE: US Department of Labor proposes $145K in fines after worker suffers fatal injury at Chicago-area pizza manufacturer

OSHA NEWS RELEASE – Region 5

US Department of Labor proposes $145K in fines after worker suffers fatal injury at Chicago-area pizza manufacturer
Sanitation workers exposed to equipment hazards during cleaning operations

CREST HILL, IL – A 42-year-old employee of a Crest Hill frozen-pizza manufacturer suffered a fatal injury while cleaning a machine on July 20, 2021.

An inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that Rich Products Corp.’s failure to implement energy control procedures – commonly known as lockout/tagout – exposed its third-shift sanitation workers to serious hazards.

OSHA issued one willful violation to the Buffalo, New York-based food manufacturer and proposed $145,027 in penalties. The agency placed Rich Products in OSHA’s Severe Violator Program for a willful violation that led to an employee fatality. The company has an extensive history of OSHA violations nationwide.

“This preventable tragedy is another example of why employers must ensure lockout/tagout procedures are in place before allowing workers to clean or operate machinery,” said OSHA Chicago South Area Director James Martineck in Tinley Park. Employers who fail to follow safety standards and train workers in operating procedures will be held accountable.

Rich Products Corp. manufactures frozen pizza, desserts and other grocery items for food service, retail, in-store bakeries and delis. The company operates about 100 locations globally and reports annual sales exceeding $4 billion. The company employs about 375 people at its Crest Hills facility and more than 7,400 nationwide.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Click here to read more from this OSHA News Release

Company Faces $1-Million OSHA Fine

Aluminum Shapes, LLC faces a $1 million fine after two OSHA cases related to an employee death and multiple employee injuries occurred at their Delair, NJ plant.

They were cited 15 repeat, 10 willful, and 55 serious violations. Along with this fine, they have agreed to implement and develop a health and safety plan, have a full-time professional dedicated to lockout/tagout and confined space compliance, and additional employee safety training.

Click here to read more

Worker lost life to electrocution in Calgary

Emergency crews were called to the Southcentre Mall around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday for an incident near the north entrance. 

According to the Calvary CTV News, a man was killed after being electrocuted while working in an electrical room. EMS arrived to find the victim unresponsive, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“We are saddened that an employee of a contractor was injured and subsequently died while working at our property,” a spokesperson for Southcentre Mall said in a statement to CTV.  

“Everyone who works at Southcentre is a part of a committed community and our staff are deeply impacted by what occurred. Our thoughts are with the individual’s family.”

OSHA is investigating the incident.

Click  here to read the entire article

OSHA National News Release: US Department of Labor cites Company for exposing workers to safety hazards, proposes $154K in penalties

OSHA National News Release

US Department of Labor cites Foundation Food Group Inc. for exposing workers to safety hazards, proposes $154K in penalties
March 11 ammonia leak happened 42 days after January incident killed 6 workers

GAINESVILLE, GA – On Jan. 28, 2021, an uncontrolled release of liquid nitrogen at a Gainesville poultry processing facility claimed the lives of six workers. Less than two months later, workers were again subjected to a chemical release at the plant, after an ammonia leak on March 11.

A U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation identified 23 safety and health violations at the facility. OSHA cited Foundation Food Group Inc. for exposing workers to dermal and respiratory hazards associated with the potential unexpected release of anhydrous ammonia and for failing to install a system that protected employees.

In addition, OSHA found Foundation Food Group failed to:

    • Guard horizontal shafts on conveyors, which exposed workers to caught-in hazards.
    • Provide adequate training and ensure workers used locks to isolate hazardous energy while servicing conveyors.
    • Label electrical breakers, cover unused openings in electrical boxes, and use electrical devices as designed, which exposed workers to electrical-shock hazards.
    • Provide fall protection while working from equipment at heights over 4 feet.
    • Require employees use eye protection while working with compressed air.
    • Provide adequate hearing protection, testing, and training for employees exposed to high levels of noise.
    • Maintain drainage in areas of wet processes, exposing employees to slip hazards.

The agency proposed $154,674 in penalties.

“There is no situation where employees should be expected to risk serious injury or death, especially on the heels of a tragic incident that took the lives of six co-workers,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick. “Foundation Food Group has again flouted their responsibility to assess workplace hazards and ensure measures are taken to protect employees. This is unacceptable and OSHA will continue its mission to hold employers accountable.”

 

Click here to read more from this OSHA News Release