Extension Cord Safety Talk
When working in construction, there are many different things that pose a threat. You work with potentially harmful materials and chemicals. You are constantly around heavy and moving machinery.
These all pose great risks to you and the people around you. When dealing with risks like these, it can be easy to overlook the seemingly “smaller” risks. For example, extension cords. If not handled properly, extension cords can cause bodily damage.
How Dangerous are Extension Cords?
Before we get into the proper precautions, it’s important that you understand what it is that makes extension cords dangerous. You may not look at extension as a threat, which is what makes them dangerous. Here are some relevant statistics pertaining to extension cords and the threat they can pose:
What’s sad about these injuries is that they can almost always be avoided. Unfortunately, most people are simply unaware that they should take proper precautions when dealing with extension cords.
What to Avoid when Working with Extension Cords
Perhaps the most important thing when dealing with extension cords is knowing what it is you shouldn’t be doing. This is the easiest way to avoid any injuries. Here are some things you should be avoiding:
When it comes to extension cords, use your common sense. If it feels like it may be dangerous, avoid it. If you are unsure as to whether or not you can do something with the cord, refer to the manufacturer. This will ensure that you’re not doing something that will place you and your co-workers at risk.
What to do When Using Extension Cords
Now that we have established what it is you should be avoided when using extension cords, let’s go over the things you should be doing. Again, it almost always reverts back to common sense. Here are some of the best practices to employ with safety in mind when using an extension cord on the worksite:
By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure you and your co-workers are as safe as possible. Again, many people ignore the dangers of working with an extension cord. Don’t let this happen to you.
Extension cords often come with designations, especially in the workplace. These designations are the manufacturer’s way of telling you how you are supposed to operate the cord. It lets you know what’s safe and what’s to be avoided. Here are some of the designations and what they mean:
Many times, there will be many different designations together. For example, SJTW would imply that the extension cord is designed for general use, rated for outdoor use, standard 300 voltage insulation, and made from vinyl thermoplastic.
Some Other Things to Avoid
Here are some of the other things you should be looking to avoid when working with an extension cord:
The best way to avoid accidents involving extension cords is by acknowledging that extension cords pose a threat. Most accidents happen because people are simply unaware of how dangerous they can be. By acknowledging the threat, you can protect yourself and your co-workers from accidents.
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