Electrical Equipment in the Office: Do’s and Don’ts | 2021-02-21

The typical desktop includes a collection of wires, sockets, cables, and other electrical equipment. Although ubiquitous and used daily, electrical equipment requires constant awareness of the dangers associated with it, as well as training in proper use, storage and maintenance, the Indiana Department of Labor reminds to employers and workers in its INdiana Labor Insider newsletter.

“Misuse of electrical equipment can create overheated equipment, which can lead to fires, shocks, and electrocution,” warns IDOL, which provides some do’s and don’ts regarding certain electrical equipment.

Extensions
NOT use an extension cord as a permanent power source and never connect multiple extension cords, also known as “daisy chaining”.
NOT run flexible extension cords under carpeting or through doors or walls. They do not replace permanent wiring and should not be attached to walls/floors with staples or clips.
TO DO make sure flexible extension cords have the current capacity for the load current – ​​“12 gauge metal cords are recommended”.
TO DO Protect all cords with special covers when subjected to foot traffic. “Bright colors and high-visibility elements are helpful.”
TO DO make sure extension cords have appropriate insulation and/or guards to protect them from damage, which could result in an increased risk of fire and electric shock.

Power bars
NOT use power strips as a permanent power source and avoid daisy-chaining them.
NOT use a power strip without overcurrent protection. Those with surge protection for digital equipment can be used as a permanent power source – but not daisy-chained to an extension cord.
TO DO use wall outlets for equipment that is left on all the time, leaving the use of power strips only for short-term projects.

Flexible electrical cords
NOT route flexible electrical cords under rugs or other combustible covers. “This is a serious fire hazard due to the potential of overheated cords. In addition, these cords could be damaged by heavy or sharp objects being placed on them, moving on them, or falling on them.

Receptacles
TO DO
use outlets equipped with GFCIs in toilets and roof outlets – these are required within 6 feet of a sink or wet process on a job site. “This protects the worker from the risk of shock and electrocution.”