Common wiring accidents in the workplace and how to avoid them

Faulty wiring is often the cause of long and expensive legal action, and in extreme cases can lead to workplace fatalities: so how can you ensure you steer clear of this very serious problem?

To avoid nasty legal fees, and potentially disastrous consequences, making sure that the wiring system at your workplace stays safe and secure is a must. Offices are usually riddled with technology and wires.

In order to ensure the safety of your employees, as well as the safety of your pocketbook, use a little common sense to keep everyone out of harm’s way. The dangers of wires are very real, so protect yourself from mishaps and don’t underestimate how far-reaching the consequences can be of an electrical accident.

Cords and Plugs

Cords and plugs can be extremely dangerous if they’re not monitored and treated with caution. If the cord or plug has any sign of damage, melting, burning, or the insulation has come away/is missing, don’t use this equipment. If the plug has completely fallen off, just buy the product again. Don’t attempt to patch it up with electrical tape.

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Top tip: always replace any wiring with a brand name product that you know you can trust.

Fixtures and Appliances

Lamps and lights are usually a problem here. For example, placing a bulb with the wrong wattage in to a lamp can melt the fixture wires, potentially causing electric shocks and even fire hazards.

If any appliance that you are using sparks, smokes, buzzes, looks damaged, or is emitting a burning smell, don’t use it. Be extra careful when water is involved. Never use an appliance while standing in water, and unplug the appliance to clean it.

Office Wiring

Fixed wiring is another high contender for one of the most dangerous electrical elements in a building. Overloaded circuits can lead to serious problems, so ensure that your wiring can handle your electricity usage.

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But, that being said, many things can still go wrong with this, including waterlogged circuits and improperly installed systems. You will need to get your office professionally looked at, if you even slightly suspect that there is something wrong with the wiring. It’s better to shell out for this, rather than pay for a personal injury claim.

Wet Areas

Make sure that any areas where there is potential wetness (such as the office kitchen) have ground-fault circuit-interrupters. This will prevent any electrical issues causing catastrophic damage, so get this installed as soon as possible, if you don’t already have it.

Handle With Respect

Without sounding patronising, a spot of common sense goes a long way. Make sure that your employees know the dangers of electricity in the workplace, and educate them on what can happen if a faulty wire or damaged plug goes unreported.

Follow any advice that is written in the manuals that come with appliances or electrical equipment, and never tamper with it yourself – let the professionals do this.

Do you think your office’s electrical safety is up to scratch? Let us know what precautions you’ve taken to protect yourself and your employees. 

Further reading: Reducing the environmental impact of your business

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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Health and Safety