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01/09/2019

Industrial Electricity: Basics You and Your Employees Should Know

Your commercial enterprise relies heavily on electrical equipment but sometimes it’s easy to underestimate its capability of causing injury. In the industrial setting, working around electricity can be very safe if workers are trained to identify and control electrical hazards. Conversely, lack of experience and inadequate training could result in electric shock, fire and explosion, or death.

Most electrical-related incidents and fatalities in industrial workplaces are caused by direct worker contact with overhead power lines, contact with hand-carried metallic objects, tools, machines, and improper handling of electrical devices and systems.

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), 154 workplace-related electrical fatalities occurred in 2016. By law, employers are required to create a safe work environment for your employees. Here what you and your employees should know about industrial electricity.

Differences between Industrial and Residential Electricity

Industrial and residential electricity are completely different in terms of load demands, equipment setup, and energy needs. They also require distinct classes of procedures and materials for installation. Residential electrical wiring is

Industrial electricity is usually a 3-phase design with an amperage requirement that can be quite enormous. Often times, voltages coming into an industrial plant are in thousands of volts. The higher voltage requirements are due to the power demands of running equipment and machinery in the industrial setting. On-site power stations usually distribute power around the huge plants. This set up allows each wire workload while ensuring that all elements work together to create a higher power output.

Because the wiring is more out in the open, a higher grade or protection is needed. Industrial wiring usually has a higher level of insulation contained in heavy-duty, nylon coated, tube-like conduits. This is highly important since most industrial plants deal with corrosive liquids and gases that may cause electrical hazards if they came into contact with the wiring. Sometimes special outlets may be installed for sensitive and power-hungry equipment.

Residential wiring is done with thin, narrow wires covered in a plastic sheath because they’re not required to conduct a high amount of power as in industrial setting, and also need to fit into smaller spaces. Most residential electrical wiring are single-phase circuit of 120 volts. The wiring is hidden within walls and crawl spaces. A residential electrician is not qualified to work on much of this equipment and special permits are required.

Importance of Having Your Employees Properly Trained When Working with Electricity

Electricity is a serious workplace hazard and it’s important to train your employees to work safely with or around electricity. Due to the dangers of electricity, especially when there is a very high voltage as that required in an industrial setting, OSHA requires businesses to offer employees with the comprehensive safety training to protect them from shocks, electrocution, fires, explosions, and arc flash when working around electrical hazards. OSHA states that only qualified workers can operate, repair, and maintain industrial electrical equipment. These are workers trained to identify voltage and exposed electrical parts, and know exactly what should be done to exposed live parts.

Also, individuals working on or near circuit parts or energized electrical conductors must be trained to release victims from contact with exposed live parts and in methods of first aid. At a minimum, workers need to be trained to recognize exposed live parts and the corresponding clearance distances. Educating employees about the types of injuries caused by electricity, how they can occur and the necessary protection and lockout procedure can help maintain a safe work environment. Formal training can also cut down on costly OSHA citations and lawsuits in case of violated standards.

To ensure that employees follow all the guidelines and maintain a safe work environment, it’s important to prepare them for industrial work. Formal training helps workers know what they can and can’t do around electricity. This instills confidence and makes your employees highly motivated and geared up for their job.

Does Your Staff Need Safety Training?

Industrial electricity safety training for employees is an important part of keeping your employees safe and efficient, and also ensures that your business is OSHA-compliant. If you want to have properly trained industry electricity employees, consider NTT Inc. Basics of Industrial Electricity Seminar. To learn more contact us today.

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