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Prevent a Turkish-style workplace tragedy in your company with these four electrical hazard tips

by , 16 May 2014
On Tuesday, tragedy struck at a Turkish coal mine. At least 274 coal miners died after an explosion caused a pit to collapse.

What caused the explosion?

The BBC reports that an electrical fault triggered a power cut, making the mine cages unusable. Many of those trapped inside the mine died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

While the country mourns its worst mining disaster, there's no question that this incidence has highlighted the importance of preventing electrical hazards in the workplace.

Protect your employees and avoid a similar incident by taking the following four steps to prevent electrical hazards in your company.


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Do the following to prevent electrical hazards in your workplace

#1: Ensure the electrical installation is safe

In this article, experts behind the Health and Safety Advisor explained that when you install new electrical systems, you must ensure they're in line with safety standards outlined in Electrical Installation Regulations.

In addition, your company must have a Certificate of Compliance (COC) by the Electrical Installation Regulations. This is proof that your current electrical installation is above board.

#2: Properly maintain existing installations

The best way to do this is to:

  • Review your risk assessments,
  • Do regular earth leakage tests; and
  • Ensure your COC is current and up-to-date.

But there are two more things you must do to prevent electrical hazards.


Do your employees know about the different fire equipment?

If a fire breaks out in your building, would your employees know what to do or how to use the fire extinguisher?


Two ways to prevent electrical hazards at work

#3: Tell employees never to modify electrical plugs

Cable organizer.com says 'under no circumstances should you ever file down the blades, remove the ground pin, or otherwise modify an electrical plug so that it will fit into a socket.'

The reason?

This increases the risk of shock, electrocution and fire. Only a certified electrician must do this

#4: Ensure that all electrical components stay dry

The site says one of the cardinal rules of electrical safety is to never mix electricity and water.

Tell employees to 'store power tools and cables above water level when not in use, cover outdoor receptacles and never use electrically powered tools in a wet environment.'

Let the Turkish mine disaster be a valuable lesson. A simple electrical fault can cause a tragic accident. So apply these measures to prevent electrical hazards in your workplace. Prevention is after all better than cure.

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