Prevent electrical injuries during Electrical Safety Month

By Michael Marr, Safety Technical Resource Consultant

Since May is National Electrical Safety Month, we want to share information about electrical safety for Ohio employers as well as some resources to keep Ohio’s workers safe.

National Electrical Safety Month is sponsored by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi) to remind the public of the hazards associated with electricity. Each May, ESFi spearheads an annual campaign to educate key audiences about ways to reduce the number of electrically related fires, fatalities, injuries, and property loss. This year’s theme “Connected to Safety,” delves into the emerging technology that makes a home safe and efficient. ESFi has shared the following resources for 2021:

Electrical safety is also important to understand in the workplace. In 2019, there were 166 fatalities and 1,900 injuries requiring days away from work from electrical contacts across the United States. There were three electrocutions in Ohio last year, an increase from previous years. Electrical injuries occur in a wide variety of occupations, but as this chart shows the majority happen in construction and maintenance.

BWC’s Division of Safety and Hygiene (DSH) offers a variety of resources to help employers improve electrical safety in their workplaces.  

Educational Courses: You can register for these courses and more on the BWC Learning Center.

Safety Talks: Safety Talks are intended as a training resource to increase safety awareness and improve performance. Employers can use them to start conversations about safety. The following Safety Talks about electricity and lockout/tagout are available on our website:

If you have questions about electrical safety, BWC is here to help. Reach out to one of our BWC safety consultants online for assistance or call 1-800-644-6292. Don’t forget take advantage of our other safety services as well. DSH offers a wide range of services for all industries at no additional cost to employers including safety consultations, safety education and training, and the BWC safety and video library.

Are you keeping current with electrical safety?

May is National Electrical Safety Month

By Erik Harden, BWC Public Information Officer

Electricity is something we take for granted. Whether it’s brewing our first cup of coffee in the morning, charging our phone or lighting our home, we rely on it and rarely stop to think about where it comes from. Unfortunately, we can easily overlook the hazards it can pose as well.

Each year, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) sponsors National Electrical Safety Month to remind the public of these hazards with the goal of reducing electrically-related fatalities, injuries and property loss.

This year’s theme is “Decoding the National Electrical Code® (NEC) to Prevent Shock and Electrocution.” All 50 states have adopted the NEC, also referred to as the NFPA 70, as the standard for safe electrical installation, inspection and use to protect people and property from avoidable electrical hazards at home and in the workplace. As part of this year’s campaign, the ESFI has created the following infographics.

Electrical safety and the workplace
The most-recent EFSI data indicate there were 2,480 nonfatal workplace electrical injuries resulting in days away from work in 2015, the highest level since 2009. Additionally, 134 work-related electrical fatalities occurred in 2015. The highest rate of fatal electrical injury occurred in the utility industry, followed closely by the construction industry.

We’re here to help you identify hazards and reduce the risk of electrical injuries and fatalities in your workplace with our free consulting services. Our library also offers numerous resources on this topic and we have two training courses scheduled in June in our Canton customer service office (see descriptions below).

Electrical Basics (half-day course)
This course is for workers who work with or are exposed to electrical hazards in the workplace as well as employees responsible for safety programs at their facilities including administrators, supervisors, safety coordinators, safety teams and frontline workers. It covers:

  • The components of an electrical safe work practice program;
  • Strategies and tools for developing a written electrical safe work practice program;
  • OSHA compliance issues relevant to electrical safe work practices.

Electrical Hazard Recognition and Abatement (multi-day course)
This course is for individuals responsible for electrical safety, including safety and maintenance personnel, engineers and others who need to improve their hazard recognition skills. The course focuses on hazard recognition rather than design or engineering, and participants do not need a background in electricity. It covers:

  • Electrical hazard recognition and fundamentals from a safety perspective;
  • Basic physical laws that control electrical actions;
  • Effects of electrical shock on the human body;
  • Recognition and prevention of the four kinds of electrical hazards – shocks, burns, explosions and fires;
  • Grounding concepts, including equipment ground, ground fault circuit interrupters and system grounding;
  • OSHA, NEC and Ohio Administrative Code regulations and their application.

To register for these classes or any of our other course offerings, visit the BWC Learning Center.