Giving your employees the necessary electrical tools and knowledge helps them stay safe.

Key takeaways

  • Electrical hazards are responsible for hundreds of injuries and deaths each year
  • Making your workplace safer should be a priority
  • A workplace electrical safety training program is a good place to start
  • Improved safety means greater productivity

Workplace safety is vital for any business, and electrical safety is a significant part of it. Electrical hazards create risks in any work setting because they lead to accidents that can disrupt operations, create substantial costs, and – most importantly — impact employee well-being. 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, electricity was responsible for 1,322 workplace fatalities between 2011 and 2022; 70% of the deaths occurred in non-electrical occupations. As a result, focusing on electrical safety is necessary because it creates a secure environment that fosters productivity and peace of mind.

Quantifying risk 1,322 electrical-related workplace fatalities from 2011-22. 70% of deaths involved workers in non-electrical occupations. Source: OSHA

Investing in electrical safety training programs is a step in the right direction because it gives your employees the tools they need to stay safe on the job. This guide will show you how to develop and implement an effective workplace electrical safety training program.

Building a foundation for electrical safety

Creating an effective electrical safety training program starts with a strong foundation. This ensures everyone is on the same page and knows why safety training is necessary.

Begin by reviewing your current electrical safety protocols. In doing so, you’ll want to examine incident reports, conduct workplace inspections, and gather employee feedback to understand where your current practices might fall short. 

Looking for recurring issues or potential hazards will help you pinpoint areas that need improvement and tailor your training program to address these needs.

Next, you can partner with an experienced commercial electronic contractor because of the insights he or she can provide. These professionals have extensive knowledge of electrical systems and safety regulations, so they can help you identify risks you might not have considered and offer practical advice for reducing them.

Once you clearly understand your current practices and where they might fall short, you can set safety goals. These might include reducing electrical incidents, improving employee awareness and response to electrical hazards, and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards. 

These goals should guide your training program’s development and include specific, measurable benchmarks.

Even if you feel behind in creating an electrical safety training program, it’s never too late to improve. Seeking expert guidance and setting specific goals helps lay a solid foundation for your electrical safety training program and strengthens your workplace safety culture.

Early steps in developing an effective electrical safety program

Developing an effective electrical safety training program involves several critical steps to ensure employees are well-equipped to handle electrical hazards safely. Steps to follow as you create your plan include:

  • Conduct risk assessments: Start by evaluating your workplace for potential electrical hazards. Identify areas where worker safety could be compromised, such as exposed wiring or overloaded circuits. A thorough risk assessment will highlight specific training needs.
  • Analyze past incidents and near misses: Review records of past electrical incidents and near misses. Understanding the causes of these events can reveal gaps in current training and safety protocols, providing a clear direction for your training program.
  • Create guides on electrical safety basics: Develop comprehensive content that covers fundamental electrical safety principles, and make it easily accessible for your employees. Topics should include understanding electrical hazards, proper use of electrical equipment, and recognizing warning signs.

Getting this information to your employees is an excellent start because it offers basic electrical safety information. From there, you can provide more in-depth training to ensure they have a solid understanding.

In-person and remote training for employees

While the documents you put together can give your employees the basics, you’ll want to take things a step further with some hands-on electrical safety training. It may require an investment, but it’s well worth the cost of avoiding electricity-related catastrophes.

In-person training sessions allow for interactive learning and hands-on practice. Employees can engage directly with trainers, ask questions, and demonstrate their understanding in a controlled environment.

Your electrical safety training program is only as good as its delivery.

Online courses and webinars are another option because of the flexibility they provide. This approach is beneficial for hybrid employees or those with varied schedules.

Combining in-person and online methods can help you cater to different learning preferences and reinforce key concepts. Blended learning enhances retention and ensures employees understand what you expect from them on the job.

Your electrical safety training program is only as good as its delivery, so offering delivery methods that empower your employees to recognize and mitigate electrical hazards will create a safer workplace.

The role of your employees

Your employees should actively contribute to a safe work environment. Encourage them to participate in your electrical safety training program to create a culture that prioritizes safety.

For instance, employees should take responsibility for their colleagues and their own safety. Make it clear that everyone is accountable for following safety protocols and reporting hazards.

You’ll also want to open lines of communication by creating channels for employees to voice their safety concerns without fear of retribution. Holding safety meetings where employees can discuss issues and suggest improvements can help identify risks early and turn safety into a collective effort.

You might also consider rewarding employees who adhere to safety protocols and contribute to a safe working environment. Such recognition programs highlight safe practices and reinforce the safety standards you’re trying to create.

You want a safety-first culture, and by highlighting employees who meet or exceed expectations, you can encourage their peers to participate in creating a safer workplace.

Working with a contractor

Electrical safety begins with building a strong foundation, assessing your current setup, addressing any issues, and providing both documentation and training to your employees to create a culture that values safety. A contractor can help you address these issues proactively and make the office, storefront, or warehouse safer for everyone who enters.

If you’re looking for a partner in setting up your electrical safety training program, Universal Electrical can help make your workplace safer for workers and customers. We’ll ensure your commercial property is free from electrical issues, giving you a solid foundation as you implement an electrical safety program for employees. Contact us to learn more or book an appointment.