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How to prevent electrical accidents

Why do electrical accidents still occur, even though the use of electricity in Finland has been made safe?

In Finland, three people die every year in electrical accidents. About 200 minor electrical accidents occur each year, but the actual number is likely to be many times higher, as not all cases are reported.

An electrician is always at risk of electric shock. Special care must always be taken in electrical work, as electricity is a colourless, odourless and tasteless killer.

The table below shows the fatal electrical accidents recorded by Tukes. Fortunately, the trend is downward, but people still die in electrical accidents due to non-compliance with safety regulations.

Source: Tukes:

How could electrical accidents be reduced?

Although electrical accidents still occur every year, their number has fallen sharply over the last 50 years. Positive developments and electricity security have been affected by, among other things, rules and laws set by society, regulatory oversight and the training and responsibility of professionals. 

One factor in reducing electrical accidents is the Electrical Work Safety Act and regulations and ordinances concerning electrical work. For example, the SFS 6002 standard requires every electrical worker to carry out an Electrical Safety Card every five years.

Regular training greatly increases the safety of electrical work. Electrical work involves many safety risks and is performed in places where there are other hazards. Therefore, general occupational safety training is also useful, as are good first aid skills.

Attitudes can be influenced by training, reviewing and keeping electrical safety on the agenda by talking about it regularly. Safety issues should be addressed at construction sites and staff meetings. There are also lessons to be learned from incidents, near misses and accidents. Even something as simple as the cleanliness of the environment can be an important factor for safety.

10 ways to improve the safety of electrical work

Listed below are factors that can be used to improve the safety of electrical work:

  • Regular electrical safety training and review

  • Prioritising safety

  • First aid training

  • Safety sessions on construction sites

  • Dealing with and learning from incidents and near misses

  • Cleanliness and good order of the work environment

  • Knowledge of the Electrical Work Safety Act

  • Proper storage and maintenance of work equipment

  • Checklist before starting work to ensure safety

  • Avoiding solitary work

The responsibility for the safety of electrical work starts with individuals

Everyone has a responsibility to do electrical work safely. In common workplaces, everyone has the right to a safe working environment and the obligation to act in a way that promotes safety. It is also important to take care of other general occupational safety, such as the safety of the tools, scaffolding and ladders and lifting situations used, as well as minimising other hazards to the environment.

Electrical Safety Card from Kiwa as elearning

According to standard SFS 6002, electrical safety training is required by all professionals working in the electrical field, including those working in management, operation, planning, teaching and other professional tasks. With elearning you can complete the qualification at your own pace, in an average of four hours. This elearning gives you the same qualification according to the SFS 6002 standard as classroom training.