Extension cords are one of the most commonly used equipment in the workplace and at your home. Whether you want to hang lights or operate heavy equipment outside, they provide you with power even if there isn’t any plug nearby. Extension cords come in different colors, heights, thicknesses, and duty functions. You can choose an extension cord of your choice depending on your usage and workplace needs. However, you should also consider your workplace safety.
Using an extension cord may be a simple task. Still, like any other electrical equipment, it also comes with several health hazards, especially at a workplace where there are powerful, heavy machines connected to the cords. Are you concerned about your workplace safety while using extension cords? Do you want to implement a safety standard for your work environment? You are at the right place if you’re worried about the same. Keep reading to find the specific rules that can ensure the safety of you and the people you work with.
How to maintain safety while using an extension cord?
When it comes to using extension cords with high-duty equipment, it gets imperative to be extra cautious to prevent hazards. Here are five different ways in which you can reduce workplace fatalities caused by the extension cords and ensure your workplace safety:
Avoid trip hazard:
The most basic yet essential guideline for avoiding the frequent extension cord blunder is to prevent the cords from being trip hazards. People are more likely to slip over cables when they are beneath rugs or floor coverings. Always keep the wires away from doors or any public gathering as they are typically the busiest locations. You can also prevent tripping by plugging the extension cord in the same room where you are working.
It will not only use less wire but also the doors and hallways will be clear of any wires lying around. If you’re looking for the right extension cord for machine-intensive work on the construction site or any workplace, you can use a 20 amp extension cord. They are high duty and go well with almost all the electronic machines and can satisfy your workplace safety requirements.
Do not plug one cord into another:
Another significant and easy-to-detect breach is when people connect one extension cord to another. This is against OSHA guidelines since it could result in a burn, machinery breakdown, or electric shock. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) guidelines are regulations that outline how businesses could safeguard their staff from injuries. They issue requirements for manufacturing, marine activities, and general business, which apply to most job sites.
The length of a power cord determines its rank. When plugging two separate cords into each other, their existing capacity reduces by half. This in turn leads to volt fall and excessive heating. Extension cables should not exceed 100 feet in distance, but people try to quickly surpass the length of the wire by connecting one electrical cord into the other. You may need a temporary power delivery box if the job demands more than a 100-foot span.
Do not use damaged cords:
The presence of electrical or masking tape on extension cords indicates that the wire is weak. While the power cord is still functional, it has been degraded and must be discarded as per OSHA standards. A brand-new extension cord can be damaged easily by falling equipment, turning over or scratching the cord can pose a safety danger.
It’s normal to want to hold a brand-new electrical cable and repair it. While it could be an effort to salvage the cord, this is one of the frequent causes of electrical hazards.
Be careful with the flexibility:
You should not attach electric extension cords to the ceiling and walls with metal nuts or stitches because of the risk of damaging the extension cord’s outer cover.
Extension cables have a soft coat or jacket that provides mobility to the power cable. However, this also renders them vulnerable to damage. Harm may occur during the setup stage or usage. It is possible to compromise the coat can during the assembly process if the bolt or staple penetrates too deeply and hampers the cable. Even if the electrical wire’s installation is correct, the regular wear and tear or mishandling of the wire will tear up the soft coat of the wire.
Use GFCI protection at your workplace:
If a possibly unsafe condition exists, GFCIs or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters can discontinue the electric flow. A GFCI measures current leaving and returning from a plug and disconnects control if there is a “spill” or a gap of 4-6 milliamperes. Not only does this technique save time wasted on cord checks, but it also ensures that a GFCI responds quickly in the case of a hazardous incident, avoiding electric shock injuries.
You should install A GFCI on any electric cord on a job site to secure workers. GFCIs are not costly, and they can also help save lives. When checking a worksite for protection, identifying GFCI usage of electric cables is one of the safest and simplest moves.
To guarantee your workplace safety, there are several methods to safeguard the security of the workers while using extension cords. Most of these methods depend on the caution of the workers and the type of equipment they are using. Still, there exist specific procedures that ensure that no harm comes to the workers due to extension cords. If you follow the guidelines mentioned above, it will protect you and your peers from any significant accidents or injuries by ensuring electrical safety.