Electricity is essential for every business, yet it can quickly become a hazard if you aren’t using it responsibly. Without adequately maintaining your electricity use, you put your entire business and those working for you at risk. Not only does this complicate things with your insurance if there’s ever an issue like an electrical fire, but it can also result in you committing criminal negligence.
That’s why it’s so critical not to use DIY workarounds for your electricity needs. If you rent a property and have an issue, call building management to get the problem fixed. If, on the other hand, you are responsible for the building itself, then use these guidelines to help ensure that your business remains compliant and your workers safe:
Common Issues You Need to Avoid
A few of the most common issues when it comes to improper electrical safety include:
The Overuse of Extension Cords
Extension cords can be a great way to plug into sockets that are far away. However, far too often, businesses need to do more. They will plug extension plugs into extension plugs, thinking the electricity will disperse evenly and without issue. This needs to be corrected. Packing too many items into one socket using extension cords can result in an overloaded circuit. It can also cause wire deterioration, overheating, and more. This is particularly true if your extension cord doesn’t have a built-in fuse.
Other issues that crop up with extension cords include:
Using them behind walls
Covering them under rugs
Pulling on them by the jacket, not the plug itself
You’ve Put Cables Outside
If you have run cables and other electrical units through your windows, around or near doors, or anywhere there are weather fluctuations, you are putting everyone at risk. Wiring that isn’t IP67-rated (or higher) cannot be outside. Even then, those cables need to be protected from end to end, which requires a comprehensive strategy best handled by professionals.
Adhere to the Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace
When it comes to electrical safety, you need to take a few key steps. The first is carefully reading OSHA’s “Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.” It outlines everything from how to identify hazards to what specific requirements the law needs you to follow to provide a safe working environment. This guide needs to be read through carefully and followed to the letter. Remember that the electrical safety requirements will differ based on your work environment. Those in an office, for example, will have different needs than those operating a manufacturing facility.
When to Bring in Professional Electricians
The answer is always. While some fixes can be easy, DIY isn’t usually worth the risk. Bring in a professional electrician who is licensed and insured to build your control panel, set up your workplace, and check over your wiring and safety features. It is the best way to remain compliant. Ensure you are given (or write down) the safety features, like which fuses connect to which systems and how to reset said fuse if it trips. Considering the risk of handling electrical systems, there is no room for error, so bring in the pros at Yoder Electric.