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Assembly > Electrical Hazards
Electrical CordsElectrical components within a woodworking facility poses many hazards. To minimize the danger of these hazards, machines must always be grounded, circuit breakers and fuse boxes must be labeled, cords, cables, and plugs must be kept in good repair, and outlets, switches, and fittings must be covered. Any compromise in these or other safety precautions could lead to serious injury, even death.



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Hazards/Solutions Top
Potential Hazards:
  • Electrical hazards include electrocution, fire, or explosions. Even slight shocks can lead to injury or death.
Possible Solutions:

All electrical installations must comply with OSHA electrical standards. Among the many provisions included in the standards are the following requirements:
  • All of the metal framework on electrically driven machines must be grounded, including the motor, motor casing, legs, and frame. This includes other equipment such as lights that may be mounted on the machine. [29 CFR 1910.213(a)(11)]
  • All circuit breakers and fuse boxes must be labeled to indicate their purpose-that is, what area of the plant they power or protect. Appropriately rated fuses must be used. All unused holes in electric boxes must be covered. [29 CFR 1910.303(f)]

  • All electrical components must be approved by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory for the specific location where the equipment will be used. [29 CFR 1926.403(a)]

  • All machines must have a main power disconnect for lockout/tagout. [29 CFR 1926.304(a)]
Cords improperly wired directly to the electrical circuit, are not protected by a GFCI, and are two-wire cords that are not grounded and not rated for hard- or extra-hard service.
These cords are improperly wired directly to the electrical circuit, are not protected by a GFCI, and are two-wire cords that are not grounded and not rated for hard- or extra-hard service.
In addition, all machines should have the following:
  • A magnetic switch or other device to prevent automatic restarting of the machine after a power failure. Such an unexpected start-up could expose the worker to moving parts.

  • An emergency stop device (panic bar or dead-man switch) within reach of operators working in the normal operating position.

  • Clearly marked controls that are within easy reach of the operator and away from the hazard area.
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