Undoubtedly, the application of electrical energy to humanity represented innumerable advances. However, when there are no effective prevention plans, this same resource can become a source of danger. Accidents due to electrical risk in organizations of different sectors have an alarming frequency level.
According to the Department of Statistics and Health Information, the deceased due to electrical work exposure totaled 14 in 2016. Moreover, the risk to staff also means lost time in production processes that affect the normal development of operations and organization numbers.
Electrical accidents. What are the main threats?
Therefore, it is important to know the main elements present in organizations that can cause electrical eventualities:
Medium and high voltage power lines
According to definitions, systems above 1 kV and with a maximum of 60 kV are considered medium voltage. High voltage lines have a maximum of1 kV to 220 kV. These facilities represent one of the greatest hazards in the workplace, so you must recognize them and implement plans to avoid contact with them.
Power cords and extension cords
One of the causes of accidents due to electrical risks is the product of breaks, exposed cables, and short circuits due to wear. Therefore, it is necessary to frequently inspect that these materials are used correctly, the facilities are grounded and do not present faults.
A rigorous inspection process must be followed regarding its quality and constant training of workers to instruct them on its correct use. The foregoing implies factors such as using the appropriate power cable and in the event of failure, being repaired by authorized personnel.
Rules and regulations
Due to the high danger that electrical energy represents, rules have been established to regulate its use.
Notable in this group is the Standard on Electrical Safety in Workplaces (NFPA 70E), which determines the obligations of electrical safety for workers at workplaces- To this international standard, countries such as Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Peru, among others.
The Chilean legislative framework contains several initiatives in order to preserve the safety and reduce dangers. Among these, we must mention the NCh Elec. 4/2003 dealing with low voltage consumer installations; the N SEG 5/71 about strong currents facilities; or N SEG 20/78 regarding indoor substations and electrical rooms, among others.
Keys to avoid this type of accident
Although there is a set of measures that can be applied, the axes to reduce the risk of accidents are:
- Identify threats related to work activities, evaluating the environment, the existence of aerial and underground electrical sources along with weather conditions.
- Execute prevention measures.
There are options on the market to help organizations effectively manage their security and apply prevention measures in accordance with national and international regulations. Its use provides competitive advantages to companies in the care of personnel and their production processes.