Water + Electricity = Danger!
Water is an excellent conductor of electricity; even a thin layer of water can conduct electricity very well. To avoid getting zapped, you should:
Replace worn cords and faulty equipment
Old electrical tools and appliances can get worn and faulty. They then become electrical hazards. You should always check any tools or appliances for electrical faults or worn cords before using them. If wiring is exposed, if the tool's casing is cracked or broken, or if the insulating material around the wire has worn away, then you need to:
You should never try and fix cords that are worn down or frayed by wrapping them up with sticky tape or masking tape.
Don't tamper with fuses
Fuses protect against electrical overload that can cause people using electrical appliances to get electrocuted. When an electrical overload occurs, the fuses melt and break the flow of electricity to the tool or appliance. Because of this, you should:
Never overload power points
Some workplaces do not have enough power points for the number of tools and appliances used. In these cases, you can use double adaptors to overcome this problem. A double adaptor lets you plug in two devices into the same power point.
Sometimes, people will 'piggyback' a double adaptor on another to let them plug in three appliances or tools into the one power point. This is overloading the power point and can lead to electrical faults, electrocution and even fire! Never piggyback adaptors.
If you need extra power points, use a power board instead. Most power boards come with a surge protector that can prevent electrical surges from damaging appliances or injuring workers using these appliances.
Turn power off when working with wiring
Sometimes, you may need to repair electrical wiring in a tool or appliance, or you might need to change a blown light bulb. Make sure that the power is turned off when you're doing these jobs or you could be in for a fatal shock!
Keep electrical cords loose
If an electrical tool or appliance is plugged in, make sure that the electrical cord is kept loose. Never wind or loop the electrical cord when the tool or appliance is in use. The cord can overheat and catch fire!
Don't use power tools on aluminium ladders/scaffolding
Aluminium ladders and scaffolds can conduct electricity, so avoid using electrically powered tools on them. The tools' electrical cords can get tangled in the ladder or scaffold, causing you to trip while you climb. You can also get electrocuted if there is a power surge or if the cord is faulty. You would get injured not only by the shock, but also from falling off the ladder or scaffold.
If you need to use a power tool while on a ladder or scaffold, use a portable tool such as a cordless drill.
Keep power cords and extension leads out of the way
Power cords and extension leads that are in the way can cause workplace accidents. People might run into them, or trip over them as they're walking through.
If you need to use extension leads, make sure you run them along walls or corners, or, better yet, behind objects so that there is no risk of anyone accidentally tripping over them.
Use circuit breakers
Circuit breakers can prevent an electrical surge or overload from causing electrocution or fires. When a surge happens, the circuit breaker simply switches off the power to the faulty circuit.
You can now get extension leads, plugs and adaptors that have a built in circuit breaker. You can also have circuit breakers installed inside fuse boxes. Where possible, you should use circuit breakers to help make your workplace safer.