S A F E T Y M O D E L S TAG E 2 — E VA L UAT I N G H A Z A r D S
Section 6 Safety Model Stage 2— Evaluating Hazards
How Do You Evaluate Your risk?
❚ risk—the chance that injury or death will occur
❚ Make the right decisions.
After you recognize a hazard, your next step is to evaluate your risk from the hazard. Obviously, exposed wires should be recognized as a hazard. If the exposed wires are 15 feet off the ground, your risk is low. However, if you are going to be working on a roof near those same wires, your risk is high. The risk of shock is greater if you will be carrying metal conduit that could touch the exposed wires. You must constantly evaluate your risk.
Combinations of hazards increase your risk. Improper grounding and a damaged tool greatly increase your risk. Wet conditions combined with other hazards also increase your risk. You will need to make decisions about the nature of hazards in order to evaluate your risk and do the right thing to remain safe.
Combinations of hazards increase risk.
There are “clues” that electrical hazards exist. For example, if a GFCI keeps tripping while you are using a power tool, there is a problem. Don’t keep resetting the GFCI and continue to work. You must evaluate the “clue” and decide what action should be taken to control the hazard. There are a number of other conditions that indi- cate a hazard.
❚ short—a low-resistance path between a live wire and the ground, or between wires at different voltages (called a fault if the current is unintended)
❑ Tripped circuit breakers and blown fuses show that too much current is flowing in a circuit or that a fault exists. This condition could be due to several factors, such as malfunctioning equipment or a short between conductors. You need to determine the cause in order to control the hazard.
❑ An electrical tool, appliance, wire, or connection that feels warm may indicate too much current in the circuit or equipment or that a fault exists. You need to evaluate the situation and determine your risk.
❑ An extension cord that feels warm may indicate too much current for the wire size of the cord or that a fault exists. You must decide what action needs to be taken.