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Electrical Safety

Electrical accidents and injuries occur every day from the use of unsafe equipment, improper installation, unsafe work environments and unsafe work practices.

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The primary hazards – and accidents – are shock, burns, arc-blast, explosions and
fires. Why do these accidents happen? In many cases, because people
get caught up in what they’re doing and overlook basic safety
procedures.

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To help prevent an electrical accident in
your shop, follow these general safety practices:

  • Don’t use electrical power equipment or tools if you haven’t
    been trained on how to use them.

  • Keep power cords out of the path of drills, lathes, grinders
    and saws.

  • Don’t carry plugged-in equipment or tools with your finger
    on the switch.

  • Turn tools and equipment off before plugging them in or unplugging
    them.

  • Don’t leave tools that are on unattended.
  • Don’t handle or operate electrical tools or equipment when
    your hands are wet or when you’re standing on wet floors.
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  • Don’t operate spark-inducing tools or equipment, such as grinders
    or drills, near flammable containers or in an explosive atmosphere,
    such as in a spraybooth.

  • Exposed wiring and cords that are frayed, cut, kinked or have
    deteriorated insulation should be repaired or taken out of service
    and replaced.

  • Turn off electrical tools and equipment and disconnect the
    power source from the outlet before attempting repairs or service
    work. Tag the tool or equipment "out of service."

  • Before any authorized person repairs or inspects a piece of
    electrical equipment, the current should be turned off at the
    switch box, and the switch should be padlocked in the "off"
    position.
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  • Don’t use extension cords or other grounded, three-pronged
    power tools that have the ground prong removed or broken off.

  • Don’t use an adapter that eliminates the ground, such as a
    cheater plug.

  • Don’t connect multiple electrical tools into a single outlet.
  • Don’t use a power hand tool while wearing wet cotton or leather
    gloves.

  • Don’t operate power hand tools and equipment with a two-pronged
    adapter or a two-conductor extension cord.

  • Ensure all the portable hand tools and equipment are grounded
    and the double-insulated type, such as vacuum cleaners, grinders
    and polishers/buffers.
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  • Electrical enclosures – such as switches, receptacles and
    junction boxes – should be provided with tight-fitting covers
    (plates, doors). Covers should be closed at all times when the
    enclosure isn’t in use.

  • Electrical installation, service and repair should be in accordance
    with National

  • Electrical Code Standards and be performed by a qualified
    and licensed electrician.

    Information for this article was provided by Universal Underwriters
    Group, which offers specialized business insurance to the automotive
    aftermarket. For more information, call (800) 840-8842.

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