May is National Electrical Safety Month, and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) reminds us that disasters bring serious risks for electrically related fatalities, injuries and property loss. To highlight those risks and ways to plan for severe weather events, this year’s campaign theme is “Electrical Safety during Disasters.”
Nearly three workers die every week (as calculated over a five-year period) from exposure to electricity – a total of 739 deaths during that period. One-fifth of the victims were self-employed. Most fatalities (417) were caused by direct exposure to electricity, such as touching a live wire.
When using industrial equipment that emit high voltages, any carelessness in handling electrical transformers can lead to expensive equipment failures and invite unwanted fatalities. This is why inspection of electrical transformers is essential. Regular inspections and periodic maintenance help identify impending issues at the earliest and prevent future problems.
An electrical lineman was blasted earlier this year with thousands of volts of electricity and died of his injuries in North Carolina.
T.C. Simpsom was working on a power line in the Mulberry community of Wilkes County, about 80 miles northwest of Winston-Salem, when the accident happened. He died after spending two days in critical condition.
Three University of Idaho graduates have developed a safety device that utility workers clip onto their hard hats. It beeps and flashes when workers approach a high-voltage electrical source, reducing the risk of electrocution.
Most utilities recognize drones can play a role in expediting inspection of infrastructure like transmission lines. Utilities deploy drones after major events, too, such as floods, hurricanes and tornadoes.
Industry experts believe within a few years, linemen will carry drones in their trucks and use them like other high-tech tools such as handheld thermal scanners.
OSHA is reminding emergency crews and residents of the Gulf Coast region of Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi faced with debris caused by Tropical Storm Gordon to be aware of hazards they may encounter and take steps to stay safe.
Workers in the utilities sector are at a higher risk for serious injuries and fatalities (SIF) than other industries, such as construction, manufacturing and mining, according to a recent study by DEKRA Organizational Safety & Reliability. SIF is defined as life-threatening, life-altering and fatal incidents in the workplace.
Among the articles in the May 2019 issue of ISHN Magazine, we have expert insight on the world of safety technology, the latest innovations in PPE and we offer safety tips on robotics, PPE, metal fabrication, and much more.