What’s Wrong With This Picture June Edition

| OSHA

Photographs are a learning tool of how accidents can be prevented. Thank you to Keith Brown, our USF SafetyFlorida contributor for June.

Multiple hazards can be found in this photo. Do you know which ones? Read more to find out.

Hazard:

Fourteen UL-listed power strips, aka: relocatable power taps (RPTs) were found to be connected in series (daisy chained) and fed from a single electrical extension cord.

Violations:

29 CFR 1910.303(b)(2)“Listed or labeled equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with any instructions included in the listing or labeling.”

Manufacturers and nationally recognized testing laboratories determine the proper uses for power strips. For example, the UL Directory contains instructions that require UL-listed RPTs to be directly connected to a permanently installed branch circuit receptacle; they are not to be series-connected to other RPTs or connected to extension cords. UL also specifies that RPTs are not intended for use at construction sites and similar locations.

Additional potential violations:

29 CFR 1910.304(b)(2)Outlet devices: “Outlet devices shall have an ampere rating not less than the load to be served.” Power strips are not designed for high power loads such as space heaters, refrigerators and microwave ovens, which can easily exceed the recommended ampere ratings on many power strips. Power strips are designed for use with a number of low-powered loads, such as computers, peripherals, or audio/video components.

29 CFR 1910.305(g)(1)Use of flexible cords and cables. A flexible power cord is not to be routed through walls, windows, ceilings, floors, or similar openings.

29 CFR 1910.22(a)(1)Walking-working surface condition. Walking-working surfaces are to be kept in a clean, orderly, and sanitary condition, free of potential slip, trip, and fall hazards.

Consequences:

Workers may be exposed to electrical shock and/or electrocution from exposed live electrical parts; burns and/or smoke inhalation from fires caused by electrical overload conditions. Sprains, strains, contusions, or fractures from trip and fall hazards.

Corrective Action: 

Ensure electrical devices are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Train personnel on appropriate set-up and use of devices and equipment.