Electrical Safety
For Office, Facility, and Laboratory Employees
Tulane University
May 2012
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Objectives
• To identify proper use of electrical
extension cords, multiple outlet strips, and
portable electric heaters.
• To identify safe electrical practices.
• To review Electrical Safety for Facilities
Services
• To review equipment repair/component
replacement procedures for Facility DSRs
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Electrical Extension Cords
• Grounded, heavy gauge
extension cords are only
approved for temporary use
with portable equipment, e.g.,
maintenance power tools,
audio-visual equipment,
housekeeping appliances.
• The use of extension cords in
lieu of permanent wiring is a
fire code violation.
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Multiple Outlet Strips
• Multiple outlet strips
with circuit breaker or
fuse and power cord
no greater than 6 ft.
may be used for
computer work
stations only.
• Use of linked cordsets as shown in photo
is prohibited.
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Electrical Safety
• Contact Facilities
Services if additional
electrical outlets are
needed OR if you see
an obvious electrical
hazard like this →
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Portable Electric Heaters
• Prohibited except if provided by Facilities
Services/Plant Operations when heating
issues cannot be resolved.
• Contact Facilities Services/Plant Operations
regarding heating issues.
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Electrical Panels
• Keep panels
unobstructed &
provide a 36 inch
clearance around
electrical panels.
• Keep panels free of
combustible &
flammable storage.
(The gray rectangles in the
photo are electrical panels
which are blocked by
combustible materials.)
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Safety Practices
• Purchase & use equipment with grounded
(3-prong) power cords or double-insulated
appliances.
• Improper use of adapters or “cheaters” on
grounded plugs is a fire code violation.
• Contact OEHS or Facilities Services for
more information.
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Safety Practices
• Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) monitor
current going in and out of an electrical device. If
an imbalance is sensed, the GFCI shuts off the
power instantly to prevent injury.
• GFCIs are installed in electrical outlets where
there is a greater risk of electric shock – e.g., wet
areas (near sinks/faucets).
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Safety Practices
• Keep combustible materials/flammable
liquids away from electrical appliances &
sources of heat:
– Bacti-cinerators, Bunsen burners, hot plates
– Coffee pots, ovens
– Heat guns, light bulbs, etc.
• Do not overload outlets
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Safety Practices
• Do not run power
cords under carpeting,
across walkways, or
through doorways and
walls→
• Do not use metal
ladders near energized
electrical equipment.
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Defective Equipment
• Examples of defective equipment:
–
–
–
–
Missing ground prong
Spliced/taped/broken power cord
Frayed or exposed wire
Sparks, smoke, or shock when energized.
• Take equipment out of service and tag it to
warn others.
• Report hazard for repair by trained/qualified
personnel or discard equipment.
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Electrical Safety for Facilities
Services
• Lockout and tagout electrical switches when
doing repair work.
• See Equipment Lockout/Tagout in
“Facilities,” (Section 24 of Environmental
Health and Safety Policies & Procedures
Manual.)
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Electrical Safety for Facilities
Services
• When working on electrical distribution panels,
sub-panels, motor controls, or fixed equipment,
ensure power sources are disconnected and tagged
out of service, then test to ensure power is off
before beginning work.
• Wear proper Personal Protective Equipment & use
proper safety equipment.
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Electrical Safety for Facilities
Services
• Upon completion, test the system before
putting it in service, restore controls to
normal operations, remove tags, and replace
panel covers.
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Facility DSRs/Departments
• If your department has fixed or portable electrical
equipment such as drills, table saws, band saws,
etc., then their power sources must be
disconnected and tagged out of service during
repairs, replacement of components, or other
work.
• Follow the same procedures as per Electrical
Safety for Facilities Services and/or
manufacturer’s instructions
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Review
• Extension cords are only a temporary
source of power.
• Multiple outlet strips may only be used with
computer configurations.
• Keep electrical panels unobstructed and free
of nearby combustible materials.
• GFCIs should be installed on electrical
outlets near wet areas.
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Review
• Keep combustibles/flammables away from
heat sources.
• Inspect electrical equipment. Remove
defective equipment from service and tag.
• Follow the appropriate Lockout/Tagout
procedures when conducting repair or
component work on equipment.
Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Tulane University
Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
http://tulane.edu/oehs/
Karen Douglas (Uptown), Environmental Health & Safety Specialist
(504) 865-5307 / [email protected]
Susan Welch (Downtown), Occupational Safety Manager
(504) 988-3996 / [email protected]
If unable to proceed to quiz, type the link below into your browser
https://audubon.tulane.edu/ehs/enterssn.cfm?testnum=123
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Electrical Safety - Tulane University