08 Haddon's Strategies
Top Relevant Haddon's Strategies for Electrical Injury Prevention:
• Prevent the creation of the hazard
To prevent the creation of the hazard is difficult for electricity as it is so integral to our lives. It may be possible to consider alternative energy sources such as stream or hot water.
• Reduce the amount of the hazard
Walk through safety checks which systematically enable checking of electrical equipment for frayed electrical cords, ungrounded outlets, broken or exposed/un-insulated wiring, and the miss use of extension cords.
• Prevent the release of the hazard
An effective lockout/tagout program that includes all necessary training and equipment needed to implement it is an example of an administrative control. To be successful it must have the earnest support of management and labor. The policy based program trains personnel on specific steps to de-energize the equipment they are working with. Locks are placed on the switches and disconnects associated with any energy source. If equipment is properly de-energized, the hazard no longer exists (11) (12) (13)
• Modify the rate of release of the hazard
Update to more modern electrical systems which more efficiently use lower voltage and amperage by design.
• Separate, in time or space, the hazard and that which is to be protected.
Use a switch device like and insulated pole to manually turn off a disconnect allowing more space between the electrician and power source.
• Separate the hazard and that which is to be protected by interposition of a material barrier
Engineering Controls - Prevent accidents by engineering barriers to dangerous locations. Locked electrical vaults and high fences around transformers are examples of engineering controls (12).
• Modify basic qualities of the hazard
Directly modifying the physical properties of electricity is not very applicable. However, an understanding of concepts such as OHMS's Law:
Voltage (V) = Current (I) * Resistance (R) leads to and understanding of why working in wet conditions is particularly hazardous.
The Human Body has high resistance when dry, but low resistance when wet for example.
1,000,000 ohms when dry
1,000 ohms when wet
Working in wet conditions should be avoided!
• Make what is to be protected more resistant to damage from the hazard
Arc Flash Programs provide the evaluation of the work environment/hazards and trains qualified personnel on the required personal protective equipment needed based on the assessed hazard level (12) (15).
• Begin to counter the damage already done by the hazard
Use the "buddy system". Train and prepare workers to respond to an electrical event/work injury. Make trained emergency responders, defibrillator, and emergency phone/contact readily available.
• Stabilize, repair and rehabilitate the object of the damage
Access to emergency medical attention, and good medical burn care provided by qualified practitioners will allow for a more successful transition to normal life activities.
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