by Tim Coffey
Manager, Electrical Safety Services

Electrical safety is an important consideration for colleges and universities, as many aspects of campus life rely on electrical power, including classrooms, dormitories and as well as research and athletic facilities. Safety measures should be put in place to ensure the health and wellbeing of students, faculty and staff, and to protect against electrical fires, electrical shock and static spark, as well as other hazards.

Having a comprehensive electrical safety program which includes preventative maintenance and other components is critical. For example, infrared inspections can identify electrical equipment such as switchgear and breaker panels operation at elevated temperatures to prevent them from catching on fire. Grounding and bonding testing will identify potential static build up areas and ensure a proper pathway to dissipate electrical energy.

Maintaining qualified and knowledgeable staff on campus is the foundation to developing and implementing an electrical safety program. Arc flash training which includes arc flash and shock hazard awareness should be a top priority on every campus, as this identifies those who are qualified versus those who are not. Arc flash assessments identify the proper protective equipment (PPE), for shock and burns, in the event of an accident, and allows for compliance with governing authorities. Special considerations will need to be taken for university medical teaching hospitals, including provisions for line isolation to prevent static spark where flammable materials may be used in a wet room environment, including hospital laboratories and operating rooms.

Proper electrical wiring and maintenance, education and awareness, clear policies and emergency plans are all essential components of a comprehensive electrical safety program. By prioritizing electrical safety, colleges and universities can help ensure the safety and well-being of everyone on campus.

How We Can Help
Should you have any questions regarding arc flash training or assessments, or have electrical safety concerns, please contact Tim Coffey at (404) 695-1013 or [email protected].