Are Your Personnel Up-to-Date on Generator Safety Protocols?
The weather is warming up and that means that so too are portable generator systems. Before your teams get to work landscaping, cutting timber, mining, and other tasks, it’s vital to include a generator safety refresher in your plans. Making sure everyone is up-to-date on generator safety protocols is the best way to ensure that you have an accident-free summer.
Know the Hazards & Proactively Address Risks
Portable generator systems will produce reliable electricity, but they will also generate a series of hazards your teams should know how to recognize and address. This includes the following:
Portable generators produce considerable heat as they operate. Make sure that the generator is positioned far away from any flammable materials including structures, construction materials, cleaning agents, fuels, etc.
It is also imperative to review your fueling and maintenance procedures. Making sure that employees know how to safely refuel the system and perform standard maintenance is the best way to make sure no one gets burned doing their job.
Many backup portable generator systems generate between 60 to 80 decibels. Prolonged exposure to this level of noise can cause permanent hearing damage and it is vital to ensure that anyone working around the generator is issued OSHA compliant hearing protection.
Electrical hazards are plentiful in the operation of portable generator systems and generator safety in this regard requires strict adherence to every detail. Preventing electrocution starts with rigid adherence to maintenance. Generator systems must be properly maintained at all times and should be taken out of service until known hazards are corrected.
It is also imperative to ensure that any electrical cords and equipment connected to the generator are regularly inspected and well-maintained. Again, any damaged equipment should not be connected to the generator system until properly repaired by a qualified electrician.
To protect against electrocution in wet or damp conditions, confirm the portable generator system is rated for use in those conditions. Further, confirm that the ground fault circuit interrupters are correctly connected and functioning properly. These will detect any wayward current and shut the system down before injury or death can occur.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is an ever-present risk and your portable generator system must be positioned in an exterior area with plenty of ventilation. Never operate a portable generator indoors, and keep the system located at least 20 feet away from any break areas or portable office enclosures.
Further, make sure that air filters are properly maintained and replaced at the appropriate intervals. If employees begin complaining of CO poisoning symptoms (nausea, fatigue, dizziness, etc.), it’s cause for immediate concern and you should cease generator function until it can be inspected and serviced by an EGSA certified technician.
For more information about the steps we recommend to ensure generator safety in the summer months, contact Gen-Tech at (800) 625- 8324. It is our pleasure to give you some helpful tips that will keep your personnel safe throughout the season.