North Carolina Work Safety: Generator Safety Risks

Generators are used on many work sites across the nation. While they’re convenient and help to make many workdays a lot easier, they can also come with a slew of risks that can seriously injure or kill users.

Portable generators are internal combustion engines that are used to create electricity where none is available. These devices are key when remote or temporary power is needed. They’re commonly used during recovery and cleanup efforts after disasters. You better believe that a slew of people, both workers and residents, will be using generators to clean up the mess left by Hurricane Sandy.
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According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), some of the most common causes of injury and death from generators include electrocution and shocks when they’re not used properly or are improperly connected to various structures, like trailers, shops, offices and residences.

Our Asheville workers’ compensation lawyers understand that there are specific safe work practices that need to be carried out when using these devices. Employers are required to make sure that these practices are followed and that each employee is trained in how to use these devices, how to spot hazards, how to correct these hazards and what to do in the event of an emergency. One of the first things that should be done in these situations is making sure that these generators are properly maintained and are operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s use and safety instructions.

These devices aren’t only used by workers either. Many of the homes in the area have a backup generator out in their garage. It comes in handy when disaster strikes, whether from large power mishaps or from natural disasters — like Hurricane Sandy. Whether you work with a generator or not, it’s a good idea for you to review the following safety tips below and share them with friends and family — really anyone who uses a generator.

More Safe Work Practices:

-No one should ever attach a generators directly to the electrical system of a trailer, office or home, unless the generator has a correctly installed open-transition switch.

-Only manufacturer cords should be used when plugging in appliances to the generator. All tools and appliances should be plugged directly into the generator.

-Make sure you use extension cords that have a grounding conductor, are heavy duty and are 3-wire flexible cords.

-All generators and connected equipment should be inspected before, during and after use.

-Make sure that you’re using the proper ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) as the manufacturer instructs.

-Never use underrated cords. You want to use cords that use heavier gauge wires.

-Never attach appliances that have any frayed cords.

-When possible, your best bet is to use battery-operated tools.

According to federal standards with OSHA, the frame of a generator that is portable does not need to be grounded (connected to the ground) and the frame can serve as the ground.

Have you or someone you love been injured or killed on the job? Contact the Lee Law Offices today. We are here offering free and confidential consultations to discuss the cases of accident victims in both North and South Carolina. Call 800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

Asbestos: A Ticking Time Bomb for Employees, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, October 28, 2012

Works Accidents & Carbon Monoxide: An Undetectable Killer, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, October 26, 2012

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