Without electricity our work would be more difficult than most of us can imagine, so we definitely want to keep using it. But in order to use it safely, we need to know how it works, and how to control it.
Electricity travels through conductors. Common conductors we are most familiar with include: all metal objects including wire, conduit, steel studs, tools and ladders; water; damp floors and you. The human body is a conductor! Insulators prevent, or at least greatly reduce, the flow of electricity. Some common insulators are glass, rubber, and plastic. Electricity flows from high voltage to low voltage. In order to avoid being shocked, you need to make sure that you don’t become a conductor between a high voltage point and a lower voltage point.
To reduce the risk of electric shock, use these safety tips:
• Don’t use an electrical tool or instrument while you are touching or standing on anything wet.
• Treat every electrical circuit as if it were energized.
• Avoid contact with transformers.
• Use double-insulated tools whenever possible.
• Make sure all electrical equipment is grounded.
• Plug power tools into grounded outlets protected by GFCI’s (ground fault circuit interrupters)
• Inspect all power cords for cuts, frayed insulation, exposed terminals, and loose connections.
• Be sure extension cords are the right size and rating for the equipment you are using.
• Never use aluminum ladders when working near any electrical equipment or system.
• Always have electrical equipment repaired by qualified people.
• Wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
• Follow all established safety procedures.
Electricity makes our work much easier, but it demands our respect.