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How to ensure generators never become your company's worst nightmare

by , 19 July 2013
A gas or petrol leak in your generator can cause a massive explosion and completely wipe out your company! Are you prepared to take that risk? Here are safety measures you must take to ensure this never happens in your workplace.

'If you plan to use, or are using a generator, you must take precautions to protect yourself and your employees. A gas or petrol leak in the pipes of the generator could blow your company up and cost you millions,' says the Health and Safety Advisor.

You're better off not taking that risk.

Follow these do's and don'ts to ensure the safety of your company and employees when using generators

Eight do's for using generators safely

  1. Always store your portable generator in a dry, clean area that's easy to get to. When the lights go out, you don't want to trip over things to get the power going.
  2. Keep the generator outside when it's being used, or vent the exhaust outside to prevent carbon monoxide from entering the workplace.
  3. Attach a ground wire (earth) to the generator to ensure proper grounding. If there isn't proper grounding the generator could use you as the ground rod and you could be electrocuted.
  4. Use new gasoline whenever possible. Use a gasoline stabiliser if the generator is likely to be stored for long periods of time before being run again.
  5. Start your generator at least once a month and let it run for a few minutes. If your generator has a battery, trickle charge (charge it a little) the battery from time to time to ensure it's ready to go.
  6. Check the cords plugged into the generator for frays and exposed wires.
  7. Use a transfer switch to connect the generator to your workplace's electrical panel.
  8. Always wear the personal protective equipment (PPE) provided when working near generators (the PPE you need to wear should be in the generator specification or manual, if not, comply with your risk assessment for the correct PPE).

Four DON'TS you must comply with when using generators

Don't:

  1. Run the generator in an attached garage or room. The fumes will still get into your workplace. Keep it away from the windows and doors.
  2. Use frayed or defective extension cords;
  3. Run the generator in wet weather. Keep it in a shed, under an overhang, or a portable shelter if possible.
  4. Add gasoline to a generator that's running. Always shut off the generator and let it cool down before refilling it.

Knowing what to do and what not to do will ensure you use generators safety to avoid costly accidents.

Get the eight generator safety tips when tyou subscribe to the Health and Safety Advisor

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