Toe : Temporary Wiring Can be Hazardous
from "The Steel Toe", Health and Safety for Construction,
Midstate Education and Service Foundation (formerly: Midstate Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO)
Much construction work occurs before a permanent electrical system is
in place, creating potential dangers. Shocks from temporary wiring, even
if they are low voltage, can cause burns, a fall from a ladder or scaffold,
or a fast, irregular heartbeat. Using ground fault protection (see attached
article) is a mandatory safety measure. Here are some other suggestions.
Don't run temporary wiring (extension cords) in damp or wet areas; near
gases or fumes that might make it deteriorate; in extremely hot or cold
areas; over sharp edges or projections that could damage it; on sheet
metal or lath; at pinch points; anywhere vehicles or equipment might run
over it. Any of these situations increase the risk of damaging the wiring,
and causing a shock or starting a fire.
What if you see exposed wiring? What about a switch that is not labeled
so you don't know if it's off or on? Do electrical boxes have covers so
that you're not exposed to live wiring? Any repair or change in temporary
power should be done by a qualified electrician, not you.
Here are some shortcuts
- Don't remove the
third prong (the ground) from a plug.
- Don't force plugs
into receptacles that don't match (they may be the wrong voltage; using
the wrong voltage can cause a shock or fire).
- If you use an
adapter (3-prong plug to 2-hole outlet), make sure it is grounded.
- Don't use household
- Don't splice flexible
cords together, and don't run them through walls, floors, ceilings,
doors, or windows.
- Don't overload
a power box. If the circuit breaker trips, there's too much plugged
in. Find another outlet.
- Don't interfere
with safety lights. Never unplug them to "borrow" the outlet, and never
run extra lines off the light. (If you trip the breaker, the lights
will go out.)
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