Stay safe when using portable generators

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Portable generators can be found in many workplaces. Among the risks users face, according to OSHA, are shocks and electrocution from improper use of power or unintentionally energizing other electrical systems, and fires from improperly refueling the generator or not storing fuel correctly.

A major (and potentially deadly) hazard is exposure to carbon monoxide – a colorless, odorless, toxic gas that’s produced from a portable generator’s exhaust. Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, headaches, nausea/vomiting, tiredness, confusion and loss of consciousness. If a worker is showing any of these symptoms, get him or her to fresh air and seek medical attention.

“Do not reenter the area until it is determined to be safe by trained and properly equipped personnel,” OSHA cautions.

Help workers avoid carbon monoxide poisoning while working with portable generators by following these tips:

  • Inspect generators for loose or damaged fuel lines.
  • Keep generators dry.
  • Maintain and operate generators according to manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Don’t use portable generators indoors or in an enclosed space such as a basement or garage.
  • Don’t place generators near doors, windows or ventilation shafts where carbon monoxide can enter and build up.
  • Make sure generators have 3 to 4 feet of clearance on all sides and above to ensure adequate ventilation.

McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Electrical safety group creates infographic for people working from home


Photo: Electrical Safety Foundation International

Arlington, VA — Aiming to promote electrical safety among people who are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Electrical Safety Foundation International has published an infographic.

According to ESFI, more than 35,000 residential fires occur annually, resulting in more than 1,100 injuries, 500 deaths and $1.4 billion in property damage.

“Transitioning from working in an office to now working from home may present new electrical safety concerns in your home that have not existed before,” ESFI President Brett Brenner said in a press release.

The foundation’s recommendations include:

  • Don’t overload outlets.
  • Unplug appliances that are not in use to save energy and mitigate the risk of shock and fire.
  • Regularly inspect electrical and extension cords for damage. Use extension cords only on a temporary basis.
  • Never run cords under rugs, carpets, doors or windows. Make sure cords don’t become tripping hazards.
  • Keep papers and other possibly combustible items at least 3 feet away from space heaters and heat sources. Don’t plug space heaters or fans into an extension cord or power strip.
  • Use proper wattage for lamps and lighting.
  • Test your home’s smoke alarms monthly, change their batteries annually and replace units every 10 years.