What Do OSHA Say About Extension Cords?
Who are OSHA?
OSHA (short for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is an agency of the US Department of Labor. It was established by Congress thanks to the Occupational Safety and Health Act. President Nixon signed it into law between Christmas and New Year in 1970.
What do OSHA say about extension cords?
Under Standard Number 1926.416 all cords should be suitably managed on site so that:
- 1926.416(b)(2) Working spaces, walkways, and similar locations shall be kept clear of cords so as not to create a hazard to employees.
- 1926.416(e)(2) Extension cords shall not be fastened with staples, hung from nails, or suspended by wire.
We designed Tidi-Cable products specifically to help contractors adhere to these standards by creating simple, recyclable products that raise cords off the floor and out of harms way. Check them out here.
Trips and falls are the most common cause of workplace accidents in the US and extension cords are one of the biggest causes.
According to Sheep Industry LLC, "A shocking 1 in 6 of all lost-time work injuries result from slips, trips and falls. Nearly 65 percent of these are same-level falls. Protecting the worker from harmful events such as dangerous falls is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers must know and comply with OSHA’s regulations."
The overall recommendation by safety professionals is to raise cords off the floor, completely removing the risk of tripping over them.
Damaged cords, where the copper inside is exposed, pose a huge risk to construction workers. Cords that are raised off the floor have a reduced risk of abrasion and overall damage. If damaged cords end up damp, in a pool of water for example, this puddle can become electrified and be very dangerous.
"A flexible cord may be damaged by door or window edges, by staples and fastenings, by abrasion from adjacent materials, or simply by aging. If the electrical conductors become exposed, there is a danger of shocks, burns, or fire." - OSHA*
Tidi-Cable Products reduce the risk of cords becoming damaged by moving them out of harms way. To see our range of innovative products, click here.
So what can you do to adhere to the standards?
There are many different things you can do to ensure that you're adhering to the standards and that your colleagues are safe.
- Use Tidi-Cable products (but obviously we're going to say that!)
- Where possible use cordless tools
- Regularly check all routes for trailing extension cords
- Deliver toolbox talks on the issue
Don't forget to check out our fantastic range of cord management products while you're here. They're used by leading contractors around the world and will instantly solve the issue of trailing cords.