"Each year employers report many electric shock accidents to the Department of Labour and the Compensation Commissioner,' says occupational health and safety practitioner, Michele Bowmer in the Health and Safety Advisor.
One of the main reasons for this is that companies often don't think about electricity and electric hazards when compiling their health and safety documents.
There are four common electric hazards your employee's face in the workplace
According to Bowmer, in a normal office environment, electric hazards can occur from:
Luckily, you can easily avoid electric shock accidents with careful planning and simple precautions.
How to avoid electric hazards from putting your employees' health and safety at risk
To protect your employees from electric hazards, you must ensure your building/business has a certificate of compliance (COC).
With this you'll know whether your current electrical installation was tested and that it complies with the electrical standards set out in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Once you have this, perform a risk assessment of your office space – note any electrical hazards you've come across, such as faulty plugs, plugs without the 'earth' component, wiring issues and potential fire hazards from electrical appliances.
Then, fix these issues. Remember to use an accredited electrical company, registered with the Electrical Contracting Board of South Africa to fix any plug and wiring issues.
And don't forget, whenever you do any electrical alterations to your building's electrical installation, you'll need to get a new COC certificate of compliance issued.
Also ensure your company's health and safety code of conduct includes a clause stipulating that employees need to let you know if there's a problem with a plug or appliance that keeps tripping.
There you have it: It's that easy to protect your employees' from electrical hazards in the workplace.
Reduce your risk of working with electricity by checking out the Health and Safety Advisor. You'll also find a checklist to see if your employees are working safely and so much more!