Creating An Electrical Safety Culture (The Best Tips & Tricks)
Good electrical safety culture is one that looks after its staff and ensures that hazards are kept to a minimum.
August 4, 2022
This reduces risk on the company side and keeps employees safe and happy.
How do you create an electrical safety culture in the workplace? Our best advice is below.
The #1 way to get buy-in and build a healthy electrical safety culture is to offer comprehensive and fun educational training while getting 100% support and excitement from the leadership team.
If you’re a leader in a hospital, manufacturing unit, food plant, or any other facility that relies on electricity to operate, continue reading for more ways to build an electrical safety culture.
Need help with your electrical safety program? Herzig Engineering offers professional electrical safety services to reduce your company’s risk of fines, fires, and fatalities.
Electrical Safety in the Workplace: A Basic Overview
The goal of electrical safety in the workplace is to have ZERO injuries related to electrical hazards, fines, or fatalities. Adequate electrical safety in the workplace means everyone that works on or around electrical equipment goes home as healthy as they came in each day.
Electrical safety culture is about understanding the right protocols to stay safe when working with and around electricity. It will increase the employees’ knowledge of potential dangers to help them avoid incidents.
Almost 150 people died in the U.K. alone as a result of electrical shock in the workplace in one year. In the U.S., approximately 1000 deaths happen per year as a result of electrical injuries.
To prevent this from occurring, it is important to know the right electrical safety rules and protocols.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot to know about electrical safety. One can spend weeks learning the ins and outs. But for time’s sake, we’ve outlined some basic rules for electrical safety below.
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR ELECTRICAL SAFETY
De-energize equipment before maintenance or repair work.
Avoid working on electrical gear around water.
Always switch off the mains when the equipment is not in use.
Avoid using tools and equipment with damaged or fraying wires.
Use insulated tools.
Wear the right PPE for the job.
If you, the leader, don’t advocate and express your seriousness over electrical safety, it won’t get done. This could result in electrical fines, fires, and, worse, fatalities.
What you need to promote is a healthy electrical safety culture. A mission and focus that keeps any disasters from starting.
TIPS FOR CREATING AN ELECTRICAL SAFETY CULTURE
Creating an electrical safety culture means getting around some major roadblocks. These come in the forms of:
Roadblock #1: Your leadership team not taking it seriously
Roadblock #2: You’re doing it only to please OSHA (or other governing bodies)
Roadblock #3: You can’t provide fun and educational training that is memorable
Reshaping how people think about electrical safety is the biggest challenge.
Some employees and executives care, while others don’t. But the fact is this:
Everyone has to be involved in an electrical safety culture for it to be effective – even if it’s forced at some level.
Your leadership team must express their support for the program and plan.
Employees must understand that their leaders care for their well-being.
Providing fun and educational training for your staff is an issue too. Let’s emphasize the fun part of it. Yes, electrical safety is a serious topic, but like most topics, there can be some flavor and spice thrown into the mix to make it bearable and memorable.
Here are our best tips for helping you create an effective electrical safety culture and getting over those roadblocks:
Management/supervisory roles should lead by example (workers are less likely to follow electrically safe work practices (ESWP) if their manager has a bad attitude towards safety anyway!).
Include signs/explanation posters in common areas like breakrooms.
Hang up PPE posters placed in convenient locations (electrical rooms, for example). This removes doubt for the worker on what should be worn/how in the moment.
Offer weekly or bi-weekly toolbox talks on electrical safety topics.
Confirm you have up-to-date arc flash and shock labels on your equipment. Go a step further and have an engineering analysis of the arc flash hazards and get recommendations for lowering potential incident energy (that means less PPE!).
Invest in better PPE. If the employees have better fitting and more comfortable options, they are more likely to wear them when required!
Relaunch your electrical safety program with an event from your leadership team to express the seriousness and care they have for all staff and employees.
Herzig Engineering can help you execute any one of these tips. We offer electrical safety training, analysis, studies, and more to keep your employees safe from fines, fires, and fatalities.
TOP DAY-TO-DAY ELECTRICAL SAFETY PRACTICES
The day-to-day safety practices are what keep your company away from disaster mode. All the training, seminars, and posters won’t do any good if it’s not implemented.
Our best tips for day-to-day electrical safety practices are as follows:
Management and supervisors can keep an eye out for when someone implements the ESWP requirements correctly and validate their efforts at the moment. Positive reinforcement works a lot better than negative.
Have a daily brief at the start of each shift on what electrical work is needed. This could be just 10-15min to discuss and give quick, relevant reminders on safety for the tasks described.
Collect job safety planning documents at the end of each shift. Accountability for workers to take a breath and plan out the electrical work from a safety perspective instead of rushing (unless using an electronic system – then it’s automatically collected and available as it’s filled out – just need to check if they were done properly).
Incentives could be given for approaching electrical work as safely as possible. Maybe have giveaways for whoever exemplifies the electrical safety culture most each month. Workers could nominate each other for the electrical safety spotlight.
This stuff works. It’s the consistency here that will determine failure or success.
Need help implementing these day-to-day electrical safety practices? Give Herzig Engineering a call. We are electrical safety experts that help any facility or company, big and small, stay away from fines, fires, and fatalities. We’ll help you go from uncertainty to full compliance within days.
Request an electrical safety quote, and we’ll help you determine what your organization needs to stay compliant.
About the Author
We write about workplace and electrical safety. We want every worker to go home safely to their families and fulfill their job duties without risk.