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Stay safe in the workplace campaign
Comcare data has highlighted that electrical incidents in the workplace are increasing. These incidents are not only isolated to people who work in electrical trades. They also commonly occur in offices spaces and workshops – to workers like me and you.
Most injuries are the result of using faulty equipment (such as frayed electrical cords, faulty plugs or damaged equipment), non-tested personal and company-owned equipment and/or poor electrical awareness and practices.
Comcare has launched its 2014 Electrical Safety Campaign – Stay Safe in the Workplace – which aims to highlight the sources of electrical risks in the workplace. From July through to September, the campaign will provide workers with a variety of information and resources to help them stay Safe in the Workplace.
In addition, Comcare inspectors will visit workplaces around Australia in August and September to review how electrical safety is being managed.
Electrical safety is not just the domain of trained and qualified electricians. It is the responsibility of all workers. So make sure you visit Comcare’s website from July onwards to see what new resources have been uploaded to help you stay safe in the workplace.
Don’t be a live wire, test equipment
Electrical equipment and safety switches need to be tested regularly. This doesn’t only apply to office equipment. Also personal items brought in from home that are used at work need to be tested as well.
The frequency of testing will depend on the item and its use. At least every 12 months is a general guide, but you should seek further advice on this from an electrical specialist.
The below story is a real life incident that occurred to a worker in the Comcare scheme. If this was you, what could you do to avoid being injured?
Test before you touch
A contractor was conducting electrical integrity testing (test and tag) when he noticed that a piece of equipment (a welder) that he had tagged not for use last year had been returned to service. The equipment had been tagged, isolated and registered in the Tag Out log, however the tags are very similar in appearance and are the same colour as fit for service tags.
If this was you, what could you do to avoid being injured?
- Remember that electricity can turn you off - be aware of the electrical hazards around you that have the potential to cause you harm.
- Plug into safety - ensure all defect reports from contractors are disseminated to users. Ensure the ‘out of service’ tags are visually easily identifiable (i.e a different colour).
- Test equipment. Don’t be a live wire - always check tags before use and conduct visual inspection of equipment.
|Test equipment. Don't be a live wire||Don't be a live wire, test equipment poster – A3 [PDF,509KB]
||This poster should be printed out and placed around your workplace to encourage employees to test electrical equipment found in the workplace.|
Additional information from the Electrical Safety Campaign is available: