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Why You Might Need Electrical Safety Training for Your Staff

Jan 27, 2020 | General

Electrical safety training is an important topic for almost all industries. Electrical shocks and hazards might seem like a rarity. But the fact is they’re very common.

Electrocution is the sixth most common cause of workplace death in America, and it causes over 4000 injuries every year.

There are other reasons why you would provide electrical safety training to your staff, too. So, let’s look into some of the reasons why your staff needs safety training for electrical wires, services, and more.


Protect Your Employees from Potential Dangers 

As we mentioned earlier, thousands of workers’ injuries are thanks to poor electrical safety and accidents each year.

Here’s some more information that will have you rushing to book your staff’s training ASAP.

Electrical Injuries

Most electrical injuries end up in one of two categories: burns and shocks.

Over 1,200 burn center admissions are due to electrical burns from work-related activities. Electrical burns occur when electricity has direct contact with your skin and leaves a burn.

While they’re treated like other minor burns, they can also be more dangerous. This is because they affect your muscles & tissues, and the current can stay in your body injuring those who try to help you.

Electrical shock affects over 30,000 people annually in the US alone. Of these, 1,000 people will die and thousands of others can have serious injuries. 

Electrical shock injuries will depend on the type of electrical contact, voltage, time of exposure, the type of current, and more.

Shocks can lead to:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Muscle spasms & pain
  • Headache
  • Breathing problems
  • Seizures
  • Electrical burns
  • Death

Reports also estimate that the majority are accidental and preventable… with the right training, that is.

Electrical Fires

Electrical safety training can keep your employees safe. However, it’s also crucial for keeping your business safe.

Over 8,200 commercial electrical fires occur every year, which amounts to over $431 million in damages. Electrical fires are most often caused by:

  • Poor maintenance of electrical systems
  • Old equipment/wires/etc
  • Code/safety violations 

Electrical panels are one of the most common sources for electrical fires.

You can prevent electrical fires with safety training for your employees. You’ll want to make sure that your fire alarm system is up to date and in code as well.

Your Industry Is Closely Related to Electrical Services and/or Live Systems

Electrical safety training can be useful for all members of a business. But, there’s no doubt that certain employees & industries are more at risk than others.

According to a CDC report, the following industries are the most at-risk:

  • Electricians
  • Construction Laborers
  • Painters/Roofers/Other Construction Trades 
  • Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Professionals (HVAC, power lines, refrigeration, etc)
  • Manufacturing industry

These jobs require working with electrical wires, lines, currents, and circuits, which explains the higher risk. These industries also involve heavy machinery, the operation of which is also linked to a high risk of electrical injury.

If you’re working in one of these industries, then electrical safety training is essential — not to mention, often mandated (which we’ll get into).

This includes electrical contractors who are professionally trained. Electricians aren’t immune to electric shocks!

Even if some staff members aren’t working directly with electricity, electrical safety training is still important.

If there is an emergency or an accident, you want your entire staff prepared. They need to understand protocols to follow, what to do & not to do, safety precautions, and more.

OSHA Requirements

OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It’s a federal agency that produces guidelines and laws that employers must follow to ensure their employees’ safety on the job.

Depending on the industry you’re in and where your business operates, OSHA may require you to provide electrical safety training.

For electrical safety regulations and requirements, OSHA follows National Fire Protection Associations guidelines. The NFPA 70E guidelines require training for certain employees and industries.

The specifics of those regulations can be seen here. The general explanation they provide is that employees exposed to an electrical hazard that is not reduced to a safe level via other requirements must receive electrical training.

This will often vary from department to department or even employee to employee.

Do Your Employees Need Electrical Safety Training?  

Whether you’re a new business or you’re bringing on new employees, you might need to provide electrical safety training.

One of the key guidelines in the OSHA requirements is that training is required for employees exposed to risk that’s not reduced by proper installation & requirements.

If you need help understanding whether your electrical systems are up to modern guidelines and standards, we can help.

We can set you up with a full energy audit to evaluate how every aspect of your electrical system, panels, and equipment are working.

Contact us today to get started!