Plug Into Electrical Safety
May is National Electrical Safety Month
By Anne Prince
Safety is a universal word mentioned often and used loosely. Communities large and small and companies across all industries are committed to safety.
Unfortunately, when it really counts, steps to keep the public, workers and loved ones safe are often ignored in the interest of expediency or convenience.
However, at Wells Rural Electric Co., safety is a serious issue, especially when it comes to electrical safety. At the end of the day, WREC strives to deliver affordable and reliable electricity to its member-owners.
Equally important, we want workers to return home safely to their loved ones. This requires ongoing focus, dedication and vigilance.
Creating a Culture of Safety
Working with electricity is an inherently dangerous job, especially for lineworkers. WREC has established and follows safety protocols based on leading national safety practices for the utility industry.
Lineworkers wear specialized equipment when working next to or with power lines. There are specific protocols lineworkers follow when dealing with electricity. Our safety team has regular meetings where they discuss upcoming projects from a safety perspective.
We encourage all crew members to speak up and hold each other accountable for safety. By cultivating a culture of openness and transparency, we promote problem-solving with regard to safety. We examine information gleaned from near-misses and accident reports to discern patterns, and use safety metrics to improve in areas where we have fallen short.
Keeping the Community Safe
Your utility personnel live and work in the community they serve, and care about their neighbors. They conduct electrical safety demonstrations in schools and for community events.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, each year thousands of people in the United States are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires and accidents in their own homes. Many are preventable.
May is National Electrical Safety Month. This month and every month, observe these tips to keep yourself and your community safe around electricity:
- Make sure cords are not frayed or cracked.
- Don’t overload outlets. Use safety covers on unused outlets accessible to children.
- Never force a plug into an outlet or cut the ground pin off a three-prong plug.
- Don’t use an extension cord with more than one appliance or on a permanent basis. Make sure the rating on the cord is at least the same number of watts needed by the product plugged into it
- Keep electrical equipment away from water.
- If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse or trips a circuit breaker, have it repaired or replace it.
- Look for cracks or damage in wiring, plugs and connectors, and use a high-quality surge protector with your entertainment and computer equipment.
- Make sure lightbulbs are the proper wattage and are screwed in securely.
- Don’t attempt electrical do-it-yourself projects unless you are qualified to do so.
- Report downed power lines, unlocked substations or padmount transformers that look amiss
Be mindful when it comes to electrical safety. Pause and take the extra time to plug into safety.