Are You Current & Compliant With OSHA PPE Requirements?
Electrocution is not pleasant to think about, but it’s an ever-present risk when operating an emergency generator. Just as you rely on your power generation equipment to keep your business going, you must provide the proper PPE for your personnel so that they can safely operate your generator systems. Equally as important, you need to ensure that your personnel can correctly use PPE to protect themselves and prevent electrocution on the job site.
Personal Protective Equipment for Electrical Workers
OSHA standard 1910.137 outlines the PPE required for electrical workers in the United States. Individuals working with electricity, whether your personnel are servicing a power grid or installing a standby generator, should be equipped with the following:
- Rubber insulating gloves
- Rubber insulating blankets
- Rubber insulating matting
- Rubber insulating covers
- Rubber insulating line hose
- Rubber insulating sleeves
In the case of blankets, gloves, and sleeves, these must be produced using a seamless process. This helps ensure no gaps through which the current can flow and cause electric shock or electrocution.
When selecting PPE for electrical workers, it is essential to confirm that each piece is marked as either Class OO, Class O, Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, Type I, or Type II. Finally, all PPE must be properly marked and tested.
Lastly, accidents happen to even the best equipped and trained crews. Thus, it is important to position a defibrillator on-site and verify that your crews have completed CPR training.
Cut corners on office supplies and non-essentials; never cut corners on the life-saving PPE you supply your personnel. That doesn’t mean you have to buy the most expensive option, but you should always invest necessary time and resources to thoroughly investigate the quality and durability of each device you purchase. Further, you should plan regular inspections of your PPE and promptly repair or replace any damaged or worn-out devices.
Prompt Reporting Is Required
Electric shocks are recordable events, and you will almost certainly need to file any reports of electrocutions or electric shock involving your emergency generator. In addition, any fatalities must be reported within 8 hours of the event, and any hospitalizations, amputations, or loss of an eye must be reported within 24 hours. Failing to file this report can have serious consequences, so you will want to do it at the earliest possible opportunity. This is usually before you have had a chance to thoroughly investigate the cause and circumstances of the event.
Finally, electrocutions should be “never events,” but they do happen. Common causes of electrocution involving emergency generators include poor maintenance, improper repairs, malfunctioning equipment, unsafe operation, and the presence of moisture. Therefore, when electrocution occurs involving your emergency generator, you need to thoroughly investigate why it happened and how it happened so you can prevent it from recurring.
Do you have questions about electrical safety and the safe operation of your emergency generator? Contact Gen-Tech Power Generation Specialists at (800) 625-8324, and we will be happy to help you enhance your preparedness.