Safety Focus of the Week: Portable Generators
Portable generators are used on nearly every job to supply power to a range of electrical devices (small tools, pumps, fusion equipment, lighting, etc.). In summary, here are the safety issues to consider with portable generators:
- All extension chords must be in good condition and with a proper ground plug.
- Extension chords need to be sized for the length of chord and the load from the appliance. For a 100-ft chord, the wire should be at least 12 gauge for a 15 amp load.
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) needs to be in the circuit. Hopefully, the generator has the GFCI built into the outlet.
- Grounding of the generator to earth is not required if:
- the generator is used directly with either equipment mounted on the generator or with chord & plug connected equipment plugged into the receptacles.
- All metal non-conductor components of the generator are electrically bonded to the generator frame.
- Follow all manufacturer recommendations.
- Use only in well ventilated areas to prevent worker exposure to carbon monoxide.