Analyzing electrical hazards in the workplace

Occup Health Saf. 2013 Oct;82(10):42-4, 46.


In resolving the issues in analyzing electrical hazards in an industry, we must follow a path that will lead to a comprehensive analysis of the problems that exist and provide a quantified value to ensure the selection of appropriate personal protective equipment and clothing. An analysis of all three hazards--shock, arc, and blast--must be completed and steps taken to prevent injuries. The following steps could be taken to ensure adequacy of the electrical safe work practices program and training of "qualified" electrical personnel: 1. Conduct a comprehensive Job Task Analysis. 2. Complete a Task Hazard Assessment including: a) shock hazard, b) arc flash hazard, c) arc blast hazard, d) other hazards (slip, fall, struck-by, environmental, etc.). 3. Analyze task for the personal protective equipment needed. 4. Conduct training needs assessment for qualified and non-qualified electrical workers. 5. Revise, update, or publish a complete electrical safe work practices program. Regulatory agencies and standards organizations have long recognized the need to analyze the hazards of electrical work and plan accordingly to mitigate the hazards. Unfortunately, many in the electrical industry have chosen to "take their chances," largely because nothing bad has yet happened. As more information becomes available on the economic and human costs of electrical accidents, it is hoped that more in the industry will recognize the need for systematic hazard analysis and an electrical safe work program that emphasizes hazard identification and abatement.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control*
  • Electric Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health*
  • Organizational Policy
  • Protective Devices*
  • Risk Assessment
  • United States
  • United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration