At Fluke, customer safety is our top priority. When you’re dealing with electrical safety, the quality of your tools is important because it could be what stands between you and electric shock. However, workplace safety goes beyond just the tool in your hand. We surveyed 162 electrical workers in 2020 to learn about the culture of safety in today's environment and found some striking disconnections between the importance of safety and the practice of safety in the workplace.
Safety within your organization
Fluke safety survey numbers
Strong culture of safety
The survey revealed 99.4% agree that a strong culture of safety in the workplace is important to keep workers safe. But, less than half, 43.6% agreed or strongly agreed, of those people believe that most companies have a strong culture of safety. These two questions show that there is a large disconnect between how important safety is in the workplace, and when the practice of a safety culture meets with those expectations.
Who is responsible for workplace safety?
Close to 50% of those surveyed believed someone other than themselves was responsible for their workplace safety. And more than half of those who said that someone else is responsible, believed company leadership was most responsible.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The survey also revealed that 84.6% said electricians skip using PPE because it’s not convenient. Both the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) lay out rules and regulations for using PPE around electrical equipment. NFPA 70E documents what levels of PPE to wear in the different workplace situations you’ll find yourself in. Following the robust PPE guidelines and regulations around jobsite safety can help ensure your own safety in case of an arc flash.
Arc Flash Safety
According to a survey conducted by Littlefuse, the fuse manufacturer company, “An arc-flash incident has been experienced by one out of every three people, […] Many people, the survey found, are not familiar with the Hierarchy of Controls outlined in NFPA 70 E. Additionally, 66% of respondents said they have not conducted an arc-flash risk assessment, the survey found.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that between five and ten arc fault incidents occur every day in the United States. As the goal of anyone working with electricity is to go home safely at the end of the job. That is why it’s important to understand the what dangers are associated with electrical work and what arc flash and arc blasts are.
Building a culture of safety
According to OSHA, out of 4,779 worker fatalities in the private industry in year 2018, 8.5% of those deaths were caused by electrocution. Taking a look at past statistics as well as the information this survey brought to light, Chuck Pettinger, Ph.D. a safety expert at Predictive Solutions, suggested a three step method to create a culture of safety within your organization.
- Set up a training program
- Take the time to train everyone regularly so that the information is always fresh in every employee’s mind.
- Get workers engaged in safety
- Make safety meetings interactive so workers become a part of the safety program instead of zoning out during training sessions.
- Change how you communicate about safety
- How you talk about safety sets the tone within your company. Managers should show that the rules are about caring for employees by using possible unsafe actions as teachable moments.
Continue reading about how to build a strong culture of safety within your company.
Electrical safety index
- 4,779 worker fatalities in 2018
- 86 (8.5%) number of electrocution fatalities in 2018
- 5-10 arc fault incidents in the U.S each day
- 1 out of 3 electrical workers has experienced arc flash
- 99.4% say a strong culture of safety in the workplace is important to keep workers safe
- 56.4% believe most companies do not have a strong culture of safety
- 50% of workers believe someone other than themselves is responsible for safety
- 84.6% believe electricians skip using PPE because it’s inconvenient