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Generator safety measures you must know as the lights go out in Joburg

by , 05 September 2013
City Power has joined the long list of companies affected by strike action. On September 4th, workers downed tools over recent shift changes. As a result, the power utility has been unable to keep the lights on in areas like Alexandra, Atholl Gardens, Lombardy East, Wynberg, Houghton, Sandton and Windsor East. It's unclear when the strike will end. And City Power has admitted that while its called contractors to fill some gaps, this hasn't solved the problem. If you've been forced to use your generator as backup, take these precautions to protect your employees.

The three common types of generators used are diesel generators, silent diesel generators and petrol generators.

If your company uses any of these generators, make sure you comply with your legal requirements of running a generator to keep your employees safe.

Using generators in your business? Comply with these safety measures

If you don't use generators safely, there's a risk of a fire. Fuel vapours can explode if they come into contact with a spark or flame. So never store generator fuel near the generator. The same can happen if there's a leak in the pipes, says the Health&Safety Advisor.

You must also take these precautions:

  • Don't smoke, use open flames or operate electrical switches while handling fuel.
  • Store the fuel for the generator in proper metal containers away from wood, plastic and other flammable material.
  • Generators heat up as they work, so don't leave a fuel container nearby, even if you think the generator might need a refill before the blackout is over.
  • Don't try to refill while the generator is running.
  • Keep the generator in a locked cage.
  • Always have a fully charged, approved fire extinguisher located near the generator.

To avoid electrical hazards, keep the generator dry and properly grounded to prevent anyone from being electrocuted, take these precautions:

  • To avoid shock or electrocution, make sure your hands, body and feet are dry before touching a generator. Never attempt to connect any appliances while barefooted.
  • Don't stand in water or damp ground when working on the generator.

Keep in mind that generators make a lot of noise because they vibrate a lot. So make sure employees in the area of the generator wear ear plugs.


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