Lesson Learned - Employee Receives Electrical Shock
A university employee was changing ballasts above a drop ceiling in a department reception area. The employee received an electrical shock from a 277volt circuit and was knocked off a step stool that she had placed on top of the reception desk. She fell from a height of 46.5 inches, but received only minor injuries and returned to work the following day.
What was the cause?
- The power source was not locked and tagged out. Instead the light switch was turned off.
- The ladder to be used was too large to work from behind the reception desk, so a small step stool was borrowed and placed on top of the reception desk.
- Reception area employees were not informed of what specific work was being done. When a department employee noticed the reception area was under lit, she instinctively turned the light switch on.
- Ensure that affected employees are trained in and use Lockout/Tagout procedures.
- Always use the proper equipment when working from heights. Train affected employees to use ladders, scaffolds or aerial work platforms.
- Instruct anyone impacted by the work being done how to safely avoid hazards if the work area cannot be isolated.
- Supervisors are responsible for ensuring employees are properly trained, equipped, and are aware of the ramifications of working unsafely.