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5 ways to prevent shocking hazards in your business

by , 21 May 2013
Did you know that your body is a conductor for electricity?

This means your body allows electrical currents to pass through it. So if you touch an energised bare wire or faulty appliance while you're grounded, electricity will instantly pass through you to the ground, causing a harmful or fatal shock.

When was the last time you assessed your business for shock risks and hazards? And do you know what steps to take to prevent fatal incidents?

EVERY incident and injury must be reported

No matter how big or small the incident/injury or accident is, it must be reported.

Make it every supervisor and managers responsibility. It doesn't have to be a stressful experience.

Use our Incident/Injury Report Form to make sure ALL the details are reported and recorded. It also includes an Investigation Checklist to complete with each person involved in the accident.

But only when you order the Health and Safety Advisor

Avoid shocking incidents by taking these 5 precautions
  1. Make sure your building/business has a certificate of compliance (COC) (Section 3, Electrical Installation Regulations). With this, you'll know whether your current electrical installation was tested and whether it complies. (If it doesn't contact an accredited electrical company.)
  2. You must ensure an accredited electrical company, registered with the Electrical Contracting Board of South Africa, issued your COC (SABS 0142, Section 5, Wiring of premises and Electrical Installation Regulations).
  3. Conduct a risk assessment to identify the hazards and also identify who might be harmed. Use your findings to reduce or prevent any risk of harm from the electrical equipment in your place of work. For example, if the plug point for your office kettle is too close to a water source, like a tap, then you need to move the kettle away from the area so your employees don't get shocked.
  4. Make sure employees don't work with equipment you've identified as a hazard/risk if you have not implemented control measures (e.g. Put up notices).
  5. Include electrical safety in you employee safety induction programme to educate your employees about the dangers of unsafe practices when they work with electricity.
To be truly safe, make safe work habits second nature. Encourage your employees to look out for everyone and take responsibility for noticing, reporting, and correcting electrical hazards.

Take care,

Kerusha Narothan
Managing Editor: Health and Safety Advisor

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