How to avoid common electrical hazards in the office

A typical office can contain a great deal of electrical equipment. This means that employees can be exposed to high volumes of electricity – which can be extremely hazardous, even fatal. Not dealing with electricity safely can lead to electrical shocks, burns and fires.

Having a high-quality electrical system installed should be a top priority at your workplace. Here are our tips to help you avoid common electrical hazards in the office.

Types of electrical hazards

Compared to most industries, the office is considered low risk when it comes to electrical hazards. The probability of an issue might be lower but this does not make the hazards any less dangerous if they were to occur.

Most electrical hazards in the office are usually the result of:

  • Faulty wiring
  • Poorly installed equipment
  • Overloaded/overheated outlets
  • Water exposure to electrical equipment
  • Incorrect use of replacement fuses (fuses have been replaced by circuit breakers in our modern society but there are some fuses still in older installations)
  • Using leads or extension cables that have been damaged
  • Clothing being placed too close to heating equipment

If an electrical hazard in the office is found, it is best to leave it to the professionals. To avoid injuries in the workplace, do not handle the hazard yourself. Instead, contact us immediately for a professional electrician to assess the hazard.

Avoiding these common office electrical hazards

Steps can be taken to avoid electrical hazards in the office. We recommend having regular inspections and getting your electrical equipment tested. This will help to identify any damage, wear and tear or electrical faults.

Although you may be able to detect electrical defects from test and tagged. them, regular inspection and testing will ensure that electrical faults that you can’t see are detected. We recommend:

  • Switching off and unplugging appliances when they are not in use. This will minimise the risk of appliances shorting out and starting an electrical fire.
  • Do not force plugs into an outlet.
  • Do not pull extension leads out of sockets by the lead. Remove them by holding onto the plug.
  • Avoid running electrical cords through high traffic areas such as doorways as this creates trip hazards as well as potential mechanical damage to the extension lead.
  • Do not run extension cords under carpets. Use cable mats that are specifically designed for pedestrian traffic while having the cables safely protected from mechanical damage and overheating.
  • Avoid the use of power boards. A double power point can be easily replaced with a four-gang power point.
  • Be aware of under desk heaters. Often heaters are placed under desks and then handbags and clothing are also placed under the desk, creating a fire hazard.
  • Be aware of hot appliances in the office kitchen such as hotplates, kettles, sandwich makers, toasters and keep these same items (and any electrical appliance, for that matter) AWAY from the kitchen sink.

Keep your office and your employees safe by following our tips to avoid electrical hazards before they happen.

Electricity is safe when treated with common sense and respect, that’s why we recommend ensuring your electrical office equipment has been test and tagged. However, if you notice any electrical hazards, as a 24/7 emergency service, please contact us immediately.