When it comes to electrical shocks, one easy equation to remember is that water plus electricity equals a nasty electric shock. California workplaces should keep their employees safe from water related electric shocks. Without proper safety standards and worker awareness, an unwary employee could become the victim of an unfortunate workplace electrical accident.
Chron.com points out problems that can arise from electrical cords and devices interacting with water. For one thing, work spaces that are open to the outside can draw in natural elements like wind, rain and snow. If there are no overhead doors present to close off the work space, water may pool inside the jobsite and can wet power cords. Water can also pool around objects, including power cords. Outside rain may also gather inside a more enclosed space, such as an office, if the window is open or if the roof is leaking.
Other sources of water can leak into your workspace. Faulty pipes can leak water inside your office, which can catch on an electrical cord or an electric powered device. You may also maintain plants in your office to offer greenery. While plants can provide a warm and soothing atmosphere in the office, plants may not be good for your health if water leaks from the pots and pools against an electric radio or a cord traveling from a nearby wall socket.
Some people may be tempted to think that the outer skin of their power cords are strong enough to keep water from reaching the electrical current inside. However, you may want to check your cords again. OSHA cautions that cords can become worn over time, which can erode the outer skin and expose the electrical conductors. Water that touches these conductors could end up conducting the electricity running through the cord and can burn or shock an unwary employee who touches the cord.