Working Safely with Generators

Working with electricity can be dangerous. Engineers, linemen, electricians, and others work with electricity directly, including overhead lines, cable harnesses, and circuit assemblies. Office workers and salespeople work with electricity indirectly and may also be exposed to electrical hazards.

Generators

generatorOne of the common tools utilized following the loss of power are portable generators. Most generators are gasoline powered and use internal combustion engines to produce electricity. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas produced during the operation of gasoline powered generators. When inhaled, the gas reduces your ability to utilize oxygen. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, nausea and tiredness that can lead to unconsciousness and ultimately prove fatal.

• DO NOT bring a generator indoors. Be sure it is located outdoors in a location where the exhaust gases cannot enter a home or building. Good ventilation is the key.

• Be sure that the main circuit breaker is OFF and locked out prior to starting any generator. This will prevent inadvertent energization of power lines from back feed electrical energy from generators and help protect utility line workers from possible electrocution.

• Turn off generators and let them cool prior to refueling.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “Working Safely With Electricity.” For more information, please visit www.osha.gov.

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