May is Electrical Safety Month

For the sake of home electrical safety, consider having arc fault circuit interrupters installed. These instruments can detect arcing in a home’s electrical wiring that could result from, for example, a misplaced screw piercing the wiring, which may not trip a normal circuit breaker. Upon detection, the interrupters will turn off power to the circuit, preventing a fire.

May is Electrical Safety Month, and this year Fermilab’s Electrical Safety Subcommittee would like to make you aware of two places online where you can learn more about how to be safe around electrical equipment.

The first is the Fermilab ES&H Manual (FESHM) chapters dealing with electrical safety. They can be found on the ESH&Q FESHM Web page under the 5000-series chapters (Occupational Safety and Health). The electrical chapters are FESHM 5040 through 5048 and 5120. In these chapters you will find guidelines for all aspects of working safely with electrical equipment. The chapters are as follows:

5040: Fermilab Electrical Safety Program
5041: Electrical Utilization Equipment Safety
5042: AC Electrical Power Distribution Safety
5043: Management and Use of Cable Tray Systems
5044: Protection against Exposed Electrical Bus
5045: High-Voltage Coaxial Detectors
5046: Low-Voltage, High-Current Power Distribution Systems
5047: Interruptible and Uninterruptible AC Power Backup Systems
5048: Hazard Mitigation for Electrical Workers
5120: Fermilab Energy Control Program

Second, we’d like to point you to the Electrical Safety Month Web page, prepared by DOE’s Energy Facility Contractors Group. This year EFCOG has collected a number of useful and interesting videos, presentations and printable materials on electrical safety for both work environments and around the home. Some of the more interesting topics deal with electrical equipment and issues found at home, including extension cords, surge protectors, the relatively new arc fault circuit interrupters, power tools, swimming pools and lightning.

Since most electric shocks at work happen to non-electrical workers, we urge everyone at the lab to take electrical safety seriously. At work you must abide by the rules set forth in the FESHM chapters. At home, please be aware of common electrical hazards and take steps to reduce them.

Michael Utes, Electrical Safety Subcommittee