Technology, Training Offer a Defense Against Electrical Injuries

We are winning the war on electrical safety, but we continue to lose a lot of battles.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatal electrical injuries have fallen by almost 60% in the last two decades. At the same time, non-fatal electrical injuries rates haven’t fallen much. On average, there are about five electrical safety or arc flash incidents every day in the U.S.

Technology and training must work hand-in-hand to reduce such incidents. De-energizing equipment always is the safest way to work on machines, and OSHA studies have found work inappropriately performed on energized equipment is associated with a substantial share of electrical injuries.

Using proper lockout/tagout (LO/TO) procedures ensures equipment can be maintained with no danger to workers. While this can be cumbersome and time-consuming, OSHA statistics show that compliance with the LO/TO standard prevents over 100 fatalities and thousands of injuries annually.

Vendors have taken on the challenge to design systems that provide an equally-safe procure that takes far less time to implement. For example, a quick-connect LO/TO solution can be operated like a switch for devices rated to UL 2682. Equipment can be safely disconnected while energized. Spring-loaded silver-nickel contacts provide switching capabilities similar to a switch or contractor and also offer a low-resistance connection.