November 24, 2020

Often Overlooked Electrical Hazards

By Tom Winkel: MaxYield Safety Coordinator

Periodically I have the opportunity to share tips to stay safe on the farm during the “Farm Reporter” program on 92.7 FM KLGA. Here are my tips on staying safe around electrical items found in the home and shop.

It’s often easy to overlook hazards in the shops…electrical hazards are one of the largest.  Many times farmers have the basic expertise to do electrical work on their farm and in their shops. ..But what we need to be concerned with is that the job you do is up to code and is considered safe.

Let’s start with the electrical panel (or fuse box):
– 30” rule on keeping stuff away from an electrical panel.
– Keep the electrical panel door closed to avoid electrical shocks and arc flash.The purpose for the door is not to just cover up switches but to serve as a basic fire wall in the event of a power surge resulting in a deadly arc flash.
– Label the switches so you know what power controls the various tools.
– Never allow holes in the panel from a missing breaker switch or knock-out plug missing.

What should you do if someone is frozen due to an electrical current?
– NEVER touch that person or you too will be caught up in the electrical shock.
– The BEST way to free someone from an electrical shock is to unplug the tool or pull the breaker off IF safe to do so.
– If that isn’t possible you need to run towards them at full speed and knock them clear using your shoulder similar to a football player going in for the game winning block of the game.
NOTE: You need to actually run through them so you too do not get shocked as well. This is risky and should only be done in an emergency because you can be injured or killed as well.


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