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Electrical Safety for Non-Electrical Workers

Electrical Safety for Non-Electrical Workers. Overhead Power Lines. We don't often think about power lines, but if you do any work outdoors staying a safe distance away could save your life. Power lines are the single biggest cause of electrocution, both on the job and at home.

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Electrical Safety for Non-Electrical Workers

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  1. Electrical Safety for Non-Electrical Workers

  2. Overhead Power Lines We don't often think about power lines, but if you do any work outdoors staying a safe distance away could save your life. Power lines are the single biggest cause of electrocution, both on the job and at home. http://esfi.org/index.cfm/page/Power-Line-Safety-PSA/cdid/10482/pid/10272

  3. Overhead Power LinesIn a City Near You

  4. Overhead Line Myths and Facts Electricity seeks the easiest and shortest path to the ground – when people or objects come too close to, or touch and electrical wire, they can become a part of an electrical circuit which can result in an instant flow of electricity through them to ground.The flow of electricity through the human body can kill – less than one ampere of electricity can burn, severely injure or cause death. Electricity is fast – it travels at approximately 299,330 km per second. That leaves no room for mistakes – never put yourself into electricity’s path.

  5. Overhead Line Myths and Facts Birds land on wires, so they must be safe to touch.Birds don’t get electrocuted when they land on wires because they don’t represent a path to ground. Electricity wants nothing more than to go to ground and will always do so by the easiest most direct route. A bird on a wire doesn’t give electricity anywhere to go but back to the wire – easier for the current to stay right where it is in the wire and continue on its way.Power lines are insulated, so they’re safe to touch.Not so fast. Many overhead power lines are insulated only to a level to prevent problems from incidental tree contact. They are usually not fully insulated to prevent injury to people. As long as my ladder isn’t metal, it’s safe to rest on the power line.Electricity wants a conductor. Metal is an excellent conductor and so metal ladders are a natural hazard around overhead power lines. But so is water. No matter what the ladder is made of, if it’s wet or can get wet, it represents a potential hazard – and most ladders contain metal parts as well. Be safe – keep all ladders away from overhead power lines.

  6. Overhead Line Myths and Facts As long as my ladder isn’t touching the line, I’m safe.Maybe. Depends on how far away your ladder and you are from the line. Electricity can jump and often does when a potential conductor like a metal ladder comes within a certain proximity. Be safe, and keep well away – at least ten feet – from overhead power lines.I’m just trimming my tree limbs; in fact, to keep them clear of the power lines. I won’t be using a ladder so I don’t need to worry.Actually, there’s plenty to worry about. Remember, electricity doesn’t need metal. The moisture in the tree and in you will do nicely, thank you. Move a limb enough to come into contact with the line, and electricity now has a direct path to ground through the tree, your pruning tool, and you! Better call the utility company, or your local department of transportation if the limbs are over a roadway, for their assistance with the job. I’m just digging a couple inches into the ground. I really don’t need to worry about the lines.How long ago were those lines laid? How has the ground shifted in that time? Is it possible you might accidentally push your shovel deeper than you intended? Error on the side of caution – make the call.

  7. Overhead Line Myths and Facts The lines are marked; my job is near but not on top of the lines. I’m safe to dig away.The ground maps are approximate and the person doing the marking may not be exact. Once the lines are marked, do any digging that comes within 24 inches of either side of the markers, with care and by hand. Buried lines are insulated and won’t be dangers to touch, but can be damaged and become dangerous by the blade of a shovel or any sharp object.What is that mysterious big green metal box behind the hedge on the corner?It may be electrical equipment installed there by the utility company to help deliver electricity to your home from the high voltage lines near your neighborhood. They should be marked with yellow labels as an electrical hazard and children should be taught to leave them alone.If the utility company put it there in the middle of a residential neighborhood, it must be safe.Yes, they are generally safe. However, if the equipment or its casing has been damaged due to vandals, careless landscapers or other causes, a potential hazard may exist. Children should be taught not to enter the equipment or investigate and to tell an adult right away so the utility company can be notified immediately.

  8. Overhead Line Myths and Facts I’m afraid to go near it or touch it, particularly with anything metal.The current-carrying parts of pad-mounted equipment are securely locked inside the cabinet and pose no hazard to the public. Infrequently, however, vandalism or other occurrences may cause the access door to be ajar. In this case, avoid touching any part of the equipment and notify the utility company immediately.How would a young child know to stay away?The enclosures should have pictorial warning labels clearly visible that have been designed and tested to communicate a sense of danger to children even too young to read. http://www.powerlinesafety.info/RightPanel-001.php

  9. Extension Cords • Extension cords offer a convenient solution for delivering power right where it’s needed. But proper selection and use of extension cords is critical to avoiding injuries. An estimated 3,300 residential fires originate in extension cords each year, killing and injuring more than 300 people. In addition, nearly 4,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year for non-fire related extension cord injuries, including fractures, lacerations, and electrical burns. http://esfi.org/index.cfm/page/ESFI-Extension-Cord-Safety-Virtual-Demonstration/cdid/11727/pid/10272

  10. Extension Cord

  11. GFCI • Ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs, have saved thousands of lives over the last three decades. Found mostly in areas where electrical products might come in contact with water, a GFCI is a special type of electrical outlet designed to cut off power before an electrical shock can occur. GFCIs should be tested every month to ensure they are in working order. http://esfi.org/index.cfm/page/GFCI-Virtual-Demonstration/cdid/10458/pid/10272

  12. GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)

  13. AFCIs • Each year in the United States, arcing faults are responsible for starting more than 30,000 home fires. These fires kill and injure hundreds of people, and cause over $750 million in property damage. Many of these fires can be prevented by arc fault circuit interrupters, or AFCIs. http://esfi.org/index.cfm/page/AFCI-Virtual-Demonstration/cdid/10456/pid/10272

  14. http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?categoryID=2439&itemID=55501&URL=Research/Statistical%20reports/Major%20causes/http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?categoryID=2439&itemID=55501&URL=Research/Statistical%20reports/Major%20causes/

  15. Arc fault Detection

  16. Summary May is electrical safety month and is used to raise awareness of electrical safety issues that could cause harm to people and property. These electrical safety practices should be kept in mind wherever you are, all year long.

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