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Electrical Safety

All employees use electric powered equipment and systems throughout the campus. Whether in an office, lab or workshop, electricity is used continuously, usually without incident.

Electrical voltages as low as 12 volts, can be dangerous to people and cause injury. When working with or around electrical equipment, one may inadvertently become part of an electrical circuit. Only trained and authorized or qualified individuals should do any repair or work on electrical equipment.

General Precautions for All Staff

  • Never work on “hot” or energized equipment unless it is necessary to conduct equipment troubleshooting
  • Use extension cords only as temporary power sources.
  • Do not connect too many pieces of equipment to the same circuit or outlet as the circuit or outlet could become overloaded.
  • Be sure that ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) are used in high-risk areas such as wet locations (GFCI's are designed to shut off electrical power within as little as 1/40 of a second).
  • Plug strips, such as those used on computers, should be plugged directly into outlets and not into extension cords or other plug strips.
  • Inspect all equipment periodically for defects or damage.
  • All cords that are worn, frayed, abraded, corroded or otherwise damaged must be replaced.
  • Grasp the plug to remove it from a socket - never pull the cord.
  • Keep all cords away from heat, oil and sharp edges.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for use and maintenance of all electrical tools and appliances.
  • Keep equipment operating instructions on file.
  • Never touch an electrical appliance and plumbing at the same time.
  • Always unplug electrical appliances before attempting any repair or maintenance.
  • All electrical devices must be properly grounded with approved three wire plugs unless they are "double insulated". Grounding provides a safe path for electricity to the ground, preventing leakage of current in circuits or equipment.
  • All electrical equipment used on campus should be UL or FM approved.
  • Keep cords out of the way of foot traffic so they don't become tripping hazards or become damaged by traffic.
  • Never use electrical equipment in wet areas or run cords across wet floors.
  • Ensure energized parts of electrical equipment operating at 50 volts or more are guarded against accidental contact.
  • Only properly trained employees should work on electrical equipment.
  • Know how to respond to emergencies such as electric shock incidents or fires.

Localized Electrical Outage

  • All Staff should immediately report electric outages to Facilities Management.
  • If possible, identify the defective equipment or the cause of the failure and remove it from service.
  • Report this information to Facilities Management personnel upon their arrival.

Labs and Facilities Management

  • NEVER work with electricity greater than 600 volts without specific permission, training and written procedures. Notify your supervisor immediately if you have any questions.
  • Be able to recognize electrical safety hazards in your work area.
  • Ensure that all authorized or qualified persons have received appropriate training in order to operate or repair equipment.
  • Keep equipment in good working order to help prevent electrical accidents.
  • Maintain a three-foot clearance around electrical panels.
  • Electrically operated equipment must be deenergized before work may commence.
  • Always follow lockout/tag-out procedures when working on electrical equipment and wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as safety glasses, rated rubber gloves, rated rubber sleeves, insulated boots, or face shield.
  • Never override safety devices such as electrical interlocks.
  • Remove all rings, key chains or other metal objects when working around electricity.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as eye protection or insulated gloves, as needed.
  • Never use metal ladders when working near energized wiring.
  • Damp or wet environments may be dangerous when working with electricity.
  • Never plug in cords that are wet or touch electrical equipment with wet hands.
  • Employees working with lasers, performing hardware or software testing, or other activities that do not require direct contact with electrical components, should be aware of electrical safety issues and be alert to the possibility of other employees conducting energized work in the area.

Damaged or Defective Electrical Equipment
Report malfunctioning equipment or devices to your supervisor or Facilities Management at (920) 424-3466. Typical issues include:

  • Damaged cords, plugs or outlets;
  • Receiving a shock when touching the equipment; and
  • Arcing, sparking, smoking, or otherwise malfunctioning equipment.
  • Any electrical equipment not operating properly should be:
  • Taken out of service immediately.
  • Tagged or labeled as “Do Not Use”.
  • Reported to the appropriate department or individual for repair.
  • Do not attempt to repair any electrical equipment yourself unless you are properly trained and authorized to do so.

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