Electrically-Related Worker's Comp Injuries
Electrical hazards cause more than 200 electrocutions (death by electric shock) and 4,000 workplace injuries each year, costing businesses millions of dollars in Workers’ Comp claims, fines, medical costs, litigation, lost business and equipment cost. “While electrical hazards are not the leading cause of on-the-job injuries, accidents, and fatalities, they are disproportionately fatal and costly,” according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).
The good news is that most electrically-related injuries and the resulting workers’ compensation and fire-related rebuilding costs can be avoided with a comprehensive electrical safety program. That's good news for electrical contractors and other businesses whose employees perform electrical maintenance and installation services.
12 Ways to Avoid Electrical Injuries and Reduce Worker's Compensation Insurance Claims
Whether you’re in an office, a warehouse, or a manufacturing facility, there are things you can do to avoid electrical injuries and costly worker's comp claims:
- Avoid using electrical equipment in unsuitable conditions, such as a wet or dusty workplace.
- Ensure electrical panel doors are freely accessible and unblocked by furniture or clutter.
- Tuck cables and cords away so they don’t create tripping or slipping hazards.
- Place electric cords where there is air circulating to prevent overheating.
- Keep electrical cords away from heat sources, such as radiators and space heaters.
- Ensure that the electrical load of equipment such as computers, printers, scanners, faxes, shredders, and telephones is spread over several circuits.
- If you are using extension cords as a permanent source of power, consider having additional circuits installed.
- Plug office electronics into a surge protector.
- Ensure grounded (3-prong) appliances and equipment are plugged into grounded outlets.
- Avoid spilling beverages on electronics, and if it happens, be careful, as electrically powered devices may become live to the touch if they become wet.
- Pull on the plug, not the cord, when unplugging equipment.
- Get rid of old, unsafe or poorly maintained equipment, such as old coffee makers, radios, lamps, and space heaters.
Improve Electrical Safety in your Workplace
ESFI offers the following steps:
Step 1: Awareness
What does electrical safety mean to you? The How Do You Know? video modules demonstrate how safe electrical practices are vital to everyone in your business.
Step 2: Assessment
Are you confident that your company's electrical safety program is up-to-date and comprehensive? Evaluate your program with ESFI's Electrical Safety Self Assessment. It's an easy to use tool that will help you review and analyze your company's electrical safety practices related to facilities, personnel, and procedures.
Step 3: Improvement
Once you identify areas that need to be addressed, what's the next step? ESFI has compiled a library of safety resources and links to help you find the information you need.
Worker's Compensation Insurance - Do You Have the Right Coverage?
Following these suggestions will help ensure the safety of your employees, reduce workers comp claims, and avoid fire-related business costs.
However, even the best laid plans sometimes fail. When that happens you need to have the right insurance to protect your business from those unforeseen incidents. Contact American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 for help in obtaining the right worker's comp insurance to properly cover your business from loss. We can help you with all your business-related insurance needs.