Just like your typical electrical equipment, generators work with electricity. It is imperative that you use the equipment with vigilance and put safety precautions in place.
Incautious or improper use of a generator may lead to consequential safety hazards – such as electrical shock, personal injury, fire, or in the worst-case scenario – death. It may seem improbable, but accidents do happen when the proper precautionary measures aren’t taken, or there is a misuse of equipment.
Which is why taking the appropriate action to take care of your generator is necessary to ensure the safety of your workplace. Read on to find out how you can minimise the dangers and physical risks when running a generator and how to attain safe and reliable equipment performance.
Secure your generator when left unsupervised
This mostly applies to portable generators, since it can be transported from place to place – which means that securing it is extremely crucial when it’s not in use. Otherwise, it may lead to a potentially hazardous situation.
For starters, ensure that all the wheels are locked so that your generator doesn’t move on its own and cause any accidents. If there aren’t any locks, use wedges under the tires to prevent them from moving. Similarly, it should be positioned on a level surface as well. Last but not least, it shouldn’t be left on pathways where others may knock into it by accident and to ensure the generator doesn’t tip.
Keep moisture away from your generator
It’s a known fact that water carries electrical currents, in other words, if your generator is near to stagnant water – it may result in an electrical shock. Likewise, water entering the generator parts will also cause severe damage to the generator. Short circuits may occur, and the machine may start to rust.
To prevent such incidents from happening, always cover your generator whenever it is not in use. Place your generator in a dry location, possibly above ground level where water will not be within reach or drain on its own. To ensure precipitation is kept off the device, the generator should be positioned under an overhand or canopy.
Naturally, the generator shouldn’t be operated during wet weather. And you can go the extra mile by getting a Genset container to cover your generator – it’ll help reduce noise pollution effectively.
Prevent electrocution and shocks from happening
Don’t ever have your electrical mains connected attached to your generator. There should always be a transfer switch in the middle.
Before you’ve even installed the generator, you should seek assistance from a professional electrician – it is necessary that you examine the electrical cords for cuts, damages, and abrasions. Accidents like electrocution may occur if they’re left uninspected thoroughly.
One other precautionary measure you can take is to use cables made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Besides having Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters in the event of wet conditions, you should ensure your generator is properly grounded so that shocks are avoided.
Be extra mindful when refuelling
If the generator is hot – don’t ever refuel it. A single accidental spill on the hot engine parts may result in fires.
What you should do is turn off the generator and let your equipment cool off. Likewise, you should ensure proper fuel is used during the refuelling process and transport it in secured and approved containers to avoid accidents from happening.
Other precautionary steps include keeping flammable materials away from the generator. In other words, one shouldn’t light matchsticks or smoke cigarettes close to the generator – LPG or diesel vapours may lead to a catastrophe.
Avoid overloading your generator or outlets
Splitters do allow you to plug in more than one equipment at the same time – but this may result in more electricity to be powered through the outlet, and it may be extremely dangerous.
Certain consequences comprise of damaged diodes, blown fuses, overheated outlets, and short circuits. When that happens, generator overhauling may be required to take a good look at your equipment and see if any servicing is required to get it back to its original condition.
If your business operations require the use of many pieces of industrial equipment (including your generator) at one go – get in touch with your manufacturer and enquire about the necessary precautions to be taken.
Ensure power cords aren’t entangled with each other
Check and ensure that any wires and cords from the generator are not exposed or frayed. Only use three-prong electrical plugs which are grounded and don’t use extension cords.
It’s best that you take the extra measures to put up warning flags or cover the wires with cable covers so that accidents can be avoided. Make sure that the generator is as close to the work area as possible; this will remind employees to avoid getting nearby so they won’t trip.
This applies to the addition of any new equipment as well – such as the installation of distribution transformer or switchgear. Right after a piece of equipment is installed – you’ll need to keep power cords away from each other so injuries don’t occur and your equipment can start running properly.
Place your generator strategically
Generators produce large amounts of carbon monoxide (said to be more than car engines) alongside other harmful gases. This dangerous, tasteless, odourless, and colourless gas can cause nausea and headaches, deprives the body of oxygen, and even lead to death.
If a generator is placed in a confined space, it will be more hazardous to the people in the workplace. You should either place it outside of the workplace or a location where not many of your employees will frequent.
Following these precautionary measures closely can lower the chances of damage to your generator and ensure the safety of your employees better. However, electric generator servicing is still mandatory from time to time for your equipment to remain in tip-top condition. Similarly, if a particular part of your equipment were to be damaged – generator rewinding may be necessary as well.