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Electrical Safety. For Office, Facility, and Laboratory Employees Tulane University May 2012. Objectives. To identify proper use of electrical extension cords, multiple outlet strips, and portable electric heaters. To identify safe electrical practices.

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Electrical Safety


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    1. Electrical Safety For Office, Facility, and Laboratory Employees Tulane University May 2012 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)

    2. 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)

    3. Electrical Extension Cords • Grounded, heavy gauge extension cords are only approved for temporaryuse 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)

    4. 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 cord-sets as shown in photo is prohibited. Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)

    5. 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)

    6. 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)

    7. 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)

    8. 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)

    9. 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)

    10. 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)

    11. 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)

    12. 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)

    13. 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)

    14. 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)

    15. 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)

    16. 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)

    17. 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)

    18. 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)

    19. Tulane UniversityOffice of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)http://tulane.edu/oehs/ Karen Douglas (Uptown), Environmental Health & Safety Specialist(504) 865-5307 /kdougla1@tulane.eduSusan Welch (Downtown), Occupational Safety Manager(504) 988-3996 /swelch@tulane.eduIf unable to proceed to quiz, type the link below into your browserhttps://audubon.tulane.edu/ehs/enterssn.cfm?testnum=123 Proceed to Quiz