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How To Reduce Electrical Hazards In Your Retail Store

As much as electricity has transformed modern living, it still poses a potential danger to human lives and properties. Electric current flows into a conductor and completes a loop called a circuit. Unfortunately, humans are conductive of electricity. If the human body comes in contact with live parts and becomes a path for the current to flow, electrocution happens. 

Accidents due to electricity can cause shocks, burns, and even death. On the other hand, when faulty electrical components are left unfixed, fires and explosions may occur. That’s why electrical components such as dome membrane switch is recommended for high-use environments.

If you’re a business owner, you must be thinking about how you can reduce electrical hazards in your retail store. The tips below will give you helpful insights that you can apply in your business. Read on.

Conduct A Risk Assessment

The purpose of this step is to evaluate the electrical dangers and preventive measures necessary to maintain an acceptable level of risk.  Loose wiring, faulty plugs, and overloaded power sockets may all be a concern in the retail business. Specifically, due to the number of appliances and extension wires being used and connected to the same source, power outlets are often overloaded. An overloaded outlet can overheat, causing fire to develop quickly.

A retail business must complete its risk assessment to anticipate potential dangers. Implementation of preventive measures can then follow if risks are pre-meditated. To perform a risk assessment, here are some steps you may want to consider:

  • Create a list of the tasks involved in running your store and associate the possible electrical hazard involved.
  • Identify the possible changes you may be performing within your electrical system.
  • Determine failure scenarios and the repercussions that may result because of these failures.
  • Measure the level of the severity of the potential injury 
  • Know the probability for each hazard to occur.
  • Set risk levels for the hazards.
  • If the risk level is high, determine what measures and corrective action should be implemented.

Inspect Pieces Of Equipment And Electrical Components

Regular visual checks, as well as more formal visual inspections, increase safety. Make sure that pieces of equipment follow electrical standards. When doing an inspection, it would be important not to forget to inspect the following.

  • Electrical cables

Electrical cables shouldn’t be routed through areas where people can trample them such as doorways or under carpets since they might be damaged and cause an accident. 

If you’re using an extension cord, verify that the level of amperage and wattage is suitable for your purposes. When a cord feels abnormally warm, unplug these cords from the outlet. Let a professional electrician inspect the wiring.

  • Lights

Repair any lighting problems, such as burned-out bulbs, flickering, or frequent failures. Keep paper and plastics away from hot light bulbs since these materials are highly combustible. You can use LED light instead to completely avoid heat.

  • Fuses

Always use the appropriate fuse size. Replacing a fuse with a bigger size may cause excessive currents in the wiring, potentially resulting in a fire.

For fuses in circuit breakers, observe proper labeling. Every switch should be identified to its correct connection. 

  • Electrical Panel Boxes

The area around electrical panel boxes should be kept clear of any objects and shouldn’t be utilized for storage. If something goes wrong inside the electrical panel, causing arcing or sparking, it might ignite flammable objects kept too close to the panel boxes. It’s important to emphasize to your employees that these spaces aren’t their lockers and they shouldn’t store their stuff inside.

Moreover, employees undertaking electrical work on the panel must have enough room to operate safely without accidentally touching a live component. Ensure that panel boxes are readily accessible in cases where you have to cut off power. 

  • Fire extinguisher

A small fire can be put out using a fire extinguisher. In this way, you can contain the fire until help from the fire department comes. Thus, make sure that the fire extinguisher isn’t blocked by other objects or difficult to reach.

To use the fire extinguisher properly, know its classification. An ABC-rated extinguisher is appropriate for use in fires involving common combustibles, flammable liquids, and powered electrical equipment. An extinguisher that’s rated for use with various dangers should include a symbol for each category of hazard.

Ensure Safety When Working With Electricity

In some cases where you need to work with electrical components, remember to make your work area safe first. Before dealing with any electric component, you can perform the following:

  • Check portable cord-and-plug linked equipment, extension cords, power bars, and electrical fittings for any damage or wear. Repair or replace damaged pieces of equipment as soon as possible.
  • Verify whether the employees who do electrical work are competent to perform the job.
  • Employ lock-off mechanisms and proper signs to alert employees and prohibit access. Switch off power supplies before tinkering with any electrical component.

Provide Electrical Safety Training For Your Employees

Employees who come into contact with or are exposed to live electrical components must understand the various hazards involved in their work. Electrical safety training will equip employees with the skills they need to take proper action and protect themselves when an accident happens. Hence, well-trained workers know how to avoid accidents and can handle emergency cases.

Points To Ponder

Electricity is an indispensable part of a business operation. A retail store can’t offer its goods and services without electricity to power essential devices such as computers, ventilation, and lightning utilities. With its dependency on electricity, a retail business owner has the responsibility to provide an electrically safe workplace.

Safety is paramount in any work environment. In retail stores, you can create a culture of safety by implementing basic occupational health and safety procedures diligently, such as evaluating risks and creating an action plan. 

Eventually, you can benefit from reducing electrical hazards in your retail store. For instance, you don’t have to pay for medical compensation if no accident happens. Having an accident-free environment gives employees job security thus, they’ll likely stay with your business.


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