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Hazardous Locations: Electrical Training to Suit Your Needs


Hazardous Locations: Electrical Training to Suit Your Needs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers reported over 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries in 2016. Installing electrical systems in hazardous locations increases your chance of falling victim to a serious accident. How can electrical workers protect themselves while working in potentially dangerous conditions?

Recognizing Hazardous Locations

Hazardous locations are defined in Article 500 of the National Electrical Code (NEC). The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recognizes three classes of hazardous conditions electrical workers may encounter.

  • Class I – The air in these areas may contain enough flammable vapors to ignite a fire or explosion. This includes areas where paint, solvents, or other chemicals are sprayed. Spaces used to dry materials that have been processed using flammable chemicals pose a threat too.
  • Class II – Combustible dust is a by-product of agriculture processing. A large accumulation can provide the fuel that turns a stray spark into a structure fire.
  • Class III – Fibers and flying particles that can ignite in the presence of an electrical spark.

Identifying a hazardous location can be tricky. Some flammable gases have no smell and may not be detected without specialized equipment. In some environments, conditions can change from safe to hazardous with little warning.

Some common hazardous locations electrical workers might find themselves in include:

  • Schools
  • Medical facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Small businesses
  • Warehouses
  • Manufacturing and food processing plants
  • Homes under renovation

It’s important for an electrical worker to access the possible hazards of a location before work begins. This allows them to choose the proper safety equipment and decide which protocols to follow.

Safety Tips for Hazardous Locations

Workers can use these tips to reduce their chance of an accident while installing electrical equipment in potentially flammable conditions.

  • Access the situation. Develop a strategy on the safest way to approach the work area. Empirical testing helps determine what gases and particles are present that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
  • Use the right equipment. Certain tools or special methods are required in some circumstances to reduce the likelihood of ignition. Non-sparking instruments or submerging components in oil, sand, or resin are some ways to avoid fire risk.
  • Look for the label. All equipment used in hazardous locations in North America must be labeled by the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory. The label provides the class, division, group, and temperature code for which the equipment is rated. Always check to ensure your equipment can keep you safe if problems occur.
  • Some areas may fit into several classifications. Choose your equipment based on the most likely danger.
  • Have an emergency plan. Keep copies of applicable Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) in close proximity. Fire protection, eyewash stations, and other first aid interventions should be accessible as well.

Why On-Site Training?

An on-site training means a qualified instructor comes to your place of business. There are several advantages to this type of seminar.

  • With on-site training, employers are able to guarantee employee attendance. This increases the likelihood of compliance.
  • Group training reduces instruction time by allowing the maximum number of participants.
  • On-site training also encourages employee engagement. Coworkers can help each other absorb and digest the information.
  • Unlike an online program, students are able to interact with knowledgeable and experienced instructors who can answer their questions in real-time.

Are you called to install or service electrical equipment in hazardous locations in your daily work? Learn how to work safely and efficiently in dangerous conditions at a 2-day seminar at NTT Training. The Hazardous Location Electrical Systems seminar will give you the knowledge to identify hazardous locations, spot design issues, understand and apply applicable codes, grounding, and bonding. Connect with us today to schedule your seat for our next on-site session.

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