Power generator are internal combustion engines used to generate electricity. They are useful when temporary or remote power is needed, and are commonly used during cleanup and recovery efforts following hospital, hotel, factory, home, camping, and also disasters such as typhoon, tornadoes, flood, earthquake etc. BISON want to discuss specific hazards inherent with the use of power generators and also provides helpful information to ensure that our customers, workers and others using such equipment remain safe.
Hazards Associated with Power Generators:
– Shocks and electrocution from improper use of power or accidentally energizing other electrical systems.
– Carbon monoxide from a power generator’s exhaust.
– Fires from improperly refueling a power generator or inappropriately storing the fuel for a power generator.
– Power generator noise and vibration hazards.
Power Generator Shock and Electrocution
The electricity created by power generator has the same hazards as normal utility-supplied electricity. It also has some additional hazards because electric generator users often bypass the safety devices (such as generator circuit breakers) that are built into electrical systems. The following precautions are provided to reduce shock and electrocution hazards:
1.Never attach a power generator directly to the electrical system of a structure (home, office, trailer, etc.) unless a qualified electrician has properly installed the power generator with a transfer switch.
Attaching a power generator directly to a building electrical system without a properly installed transfer switch can energize wiring systems for great distances. This creates a risk of electrocution for utility workers and others in the area.
2.Always plug electrical appliances directly into the power generator using the manufacturer’s supplied cords or extension cords that are grounded (3-pronged). Inspect the cords to make sure they are fully intact and not damaged, cut or abraded.
Never use frayed or damaged extension cords. Ensure the cords are appropriately rated in watts or amps for the intended use.
Do not use underrated cords—replace them with appropriately rated cords that use heavier gauge wires. Do not overload a power generator; this can lead to overheating which can create a fire hazard.
3.Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), especially where electrical equipment is used in or around wet or damp locations. GFCIs shut off power when an electrical current is detected outside normal paths.
GFCIs and extension cords with built-in GFCI protection can be purchased at hardware stores, do-it-yourself centers, and other locations that sell electrical equipment. Regardless of GFCI use, electrical equipment used in wet and damp locations must be listed and approved for those conditions.
Make sure a power generator is properly grounded and the grounding connections are tight. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for proper grounding methods.
4.Keep a power generator dry; do not use it in the rain or wet conditions. If needed, protect a generator with a canopy.
Never manipulate a generator’s electrical components if you are wet or standing in water. Do not use electrical equipment that has been submerged in water.
Equipment must be thoroughly dried out and properly evaluated before using. Power off and do not use any electrical equipment that has strange odors or begins smoking.
Power Generator Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odor-less, toxic gas. Many people have died from CO poisoning because their power generator was not adequately ventilated.
1.Never use a power generator indoors or in enclosed spaces such as garages, crawl spaces, and basements.
NOTE: Open windows and doors may NOT prevent CO from building up when a power generator is located in an enclosed space. Make sure a generator has 3 to 4 feet of clear space on all sides and above it to ensure adequate ventilation.
2.Do not use a power generator outdoors if its placement near doors, windows, and vents could allow CO to enter and build up in occupied spaces.
If you or others show symptoms of CO poisoning—dizziness, headaches, nausea, tiredness—get to fresh air immediately and seek medical attention. Do not re-enter the area until it is determined to be safe by trained and properly equipped personnel.
Power Generator Fire Hazards
1.Power generators become hot while running and remain hot for long periods after they are stopped. Generator fuels (gasoline, kerosene, etc.) can ignite when spilled on hot engine parts. Before refueling, shut down the power generator and allow it to cool.
Gasoline and other diesel generator fuels should be stored and transported in approved containers that are properly designed and marked for their contents, and vented.
2.Keep fuel containers away from flame producing and heat generating devices (such as the portable generator itself, water heaters, cigarettes, lighters, and matches).
Do not smoke around fuel containers. Escaping vapors or vapors from spilled materials can travel long distances to ignition sources. Do not store generator fuels in your home. Store fuels away from living areas.
Power Generator Noise and Vibration Hazards
1.Power generator engines vibrate and create noise. Excessive noise and vibration could cause hearing loss and fatigue that may affect job performance.
2.Keep power generators as far away as possible from work areas and gathering spaces.
3.Wear hearing protection if this is possible.
This is one in a series of informational fact sheets highlighting BISON program, policies or standards. It does not impose any new compliance requirements. For a comprehensive list of compliance requirements of BISON standards or regulations. This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. BISON voice phone: +86-576-88205202 +86-13989606956, more info please see: www.bisonpower.net