Electrical Safety Training, which is a main goal at Electrical Safety Specialists, is to give workers the tools necessary for a complete Electrical Safety Program and to also elevate the awareness of electrical hazards. Electrical Safety Specialists believes that if people truly understand the hazards and risks involved with electrical energy, electrical safety be encouraged. Once the benefits of electrical safety are understood, people will be willing and rewarded for practicing safe work practices.
A new concern arises
In the past, industries primary concern with electricity was property damage. Now, with the high costs of insurance, lost work time accidents, medical indemnity, and loss of life, electrical accidents can be devastating to a company. In the United States alone, there are 3,600 disabling and 4,000 non-disabling accidents at the work place each year. A non-disabling injury requires hospitalization, lost work time, and may cause permanent mental and physical scaring or deformity. The worker who is injured may not want to return to their former position and the coworkers will question their own safety, company procedures, and the willingness to resume these tasks may be jeopardized. Costs for these types of accidents may range up to $250,000 and beyond in some cases. Electrical Safety Training, which is offered nationwide by ESS, can help avoid these accidents.
Disabling, as well as non-disabling injuries, can cause other problems most people don’t think about such as depression, family break up, and long term mental and physical issues. If you think life is difficult working for a living, try living on disability.
Last, but not least, there is death. Some of you may have dealt with the death of a close friend or family member. It is a life changing experience for all. The effects on a family will last a lifetime, especially if the life was cut short due to an accident. How would you feel if someone died performing an unsafe job task you sent them to work on?
One person is electrocuted at home every 36 hours and a person is electrocuted in the workplace every day. More than 2,000 people are admitted to burn centers each year with severe electrical burns. Electrocution alone accounted for 5,348 deaths from 1980 to 1992. This equates to 7% of all fatalities.
Deaths are also devastating to companies and co-workers. The average cost of a death in the workplace is around $12,000,000. This can bankrupt most companies. In this country alone, over one thousand people will die of electrocution and arc flash injuries this year. This is more than three people each day. It is easy to track the costs associated with accidents if you look at property damage, lost time, hospitalization, physical therapy, personal restitution, and vocational retraining.
The costs that are much more difficult to track are the hidden costs of accidents. These costs affect companies for years and sometimes decades.If a company has a reputation for being unsafe, employees will feel like they are not cared about and why should they care about a company that doesn’t care about them.
Production will fall and the willingness to strive and help the company prosper will be lost. Another way a company may feel the affects may even come from the outside, such as the ability to obtain permits and or support from the local government or community. This can make things very difficult to expand and prosper. Once a company has a reputation for not caring about its people, it is very difficult to reverse. Some studies have shown that companies will receive a $4,000 return for every $1,000 invested in safety. Does safety pay? You bet! With Electrical Safety Training from ESS, safety is our priority!
How dangerous is electrical energy?
It may be surprising to know that most companies don’t think of electrical energy as one of their most dangerous hazards in their facility. For example, you can go to many alcohol and gas refineries and see large signs stating (smoking and the use of cell phones are prohibited). This seems like a reasonable request considering the large amounts of flammable materials present. If someone was caught next to a large container of alcohol, smoking a cigarette, chances are this person would be severely reprimanded or terminated.
Another example is in manufacturing facilities. If a person was caught placing their hand past equipment guards where there is a risk of pinch or dismemberment, this act would not be tolerated and the employee would once again be reprimanded or if repeated might even be terminated. Yet, an electrician is expected to change out a breaker on an energized panel in the same location because de-energizing the panel would cause disruption in processing. Here is something to think about. Not only is the electrician at risk of electrocution, the people and equipment around him or her is in danger. First, it takes less than 1/2 of an amp to stop your heart on hand to hand contact, the temperature of an electrical arc is around 35,000°F (4 times hotter than the surface of the sun) compared to a cigarette at 1,600°F. Next, the pressure waves of an arc flash blast can reach 2,500 pound per square foot, and the shrapnel leaving an arc blast reaches speeds of 600 to 800 mph. Electrical energy is one of the most powerful forces on earth. It should receive the utmost respect as a hazard in your facility.