Risk Control Hierarchy Refines Electrical Safety

Electrician Brisbane Southside can undertake as small a job as installing a ceiling fan in your home to providing all the electrical services needed for a new commercial or residential build. In the late 1880s, a young boy was electrocuted when he accidentally touched an unlabeled, energized telegraph wire. That incident ignited an inventor by the name of Harold Pitney Brown to make an impassioned plea in a New York Post editorial to limit telegraph transmissions to what he considered a safer level of 300 Volts.

Perhaps Harold thought that limiting electrical transmissions to levels of 300 Volts or less would provide instant electrical safety. With over 120 years of hindsight, we view things much differently today. Yet, Harold stumbled across two important concepts. The notion of “300 Volts” is a technical discussion about the laws of electrical energy (Ohm’s Law, etc) that lends understanding to how electrical energy can kill or maim. On the other hand, the term “safe” reflects a working knowledge of the fundamental principles of safety. Our challenge is to combine our technical understanding of electricity with the principles of safety to ensure electrical safety is both practical and effective. The better we understand both concepts the greater the likelihood we will have to improve the status quo. The Risk Control Hierarchy (RCH) does an excellent job in blending these two key concepts.

Risk Control Hierarchy

The heartbeat of safety is the Risk Control Hierarchy (RCH), which is found in Appendix G of the ANSI Z10 Standard. The RCH helps us prioritize safety initiatives from least effective to most effective. For example, will you be safer wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle or by selling it altogether? Obviously, selling the motorcycle eliminates the risk of an accident, while wearing a helmet offers protection to your head from the risk of a head injury during an accident. The RCH works by helping us rank risk reduction measures from most effective to least effective as per below:

1.) Eliminating the risk.
2.) Substituting a lesser risk.
3.) Engineering around risk.
4.) Awareness of every risk.
5.) Administrate and regulate behavior around risk.
6.) Protect workers while exposed to risk.

Note that each step above is equally important, yet not equally effective in protecting workers. Eliminating a risk is the most effective way to keep workers safe while protection from a risk by using Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is least effective. There have been great improvements in the design of PPE, but its primary purpose is keeping workers alive – not 100% safe.

Safety and Risk

Risk, which is defined as exposure to a hazard, is two-pronged. There is the probability of exposure and severity of potential injury. For example, a 120V outlet is a greater risk than a 13.8KV switchgear line-up because more people are exposed to the 120V outlet. Since risk is exposure to hazards, then safety is the reduction and management of risk. The management responsibility of an electrical safety program typically falls to an electrical engineer because he or she understands electricity. In our modern world we can never eliminate the risk, but are very good at finding new ways to reduce risk.

Another way to look at risk is the chart (Figure 2) developed by Ray Jones which shows the relationship between the worker and the safety infrastructure above him. A worker performing tasks must make many complex and specific the decisions that affect his safety. In the case of electrical safety, energy isolation is very personal for electricians facing deadly electrical energy every time they open a panel. By the time they touch electricity, it’s too late.

Zero Energy Verification–Is There Voltage?

Electrical accidents are impossible without electrical energy. If an electrician comes into direct contact with electrical energy, there is a 5% fatality rate. Shocks and burns comprise the remaining 95%. The NFPA 70e is very specific on how to isolate electrical energy. First, all voltage sources must be located and labeled. Multiple voltage sources are commonplace today due to the proliferation of back-up generators and UPS’s. Next, voltage testing devices must be validated using the LIVE-DEAD-LIVE procedure. Additionally, the voltage tester must also physically contact the voltage and must verify each phase voltage to ground.

The RCH and Electrical Safety

How does the RCH apply to electrical safety?
1. Elimination -Removing all electrical energy exposure.
2. Substitution -Lowering the electrical energy exposure.
3. Engineering Controls -Reinventing ways to control electrical energy exposure.
4. Awareness -Revealing and labeling all sources of electrical energy.
5. Administrative Controls -Regulations that teach personnel safety around electrical energy.
6. Personal Protection -Reducing risks of working on live voltage.

Electrical workers are exposed to the greatest risks at the lower levels of the RCH. Recognizing that these ‘residual risks’ are present; the NFPA 70e tells workers how to perform their work safely in spite of these risks. In fact a large portion of the NFPA 70e details how to best manage these risks through Awareness, Administration, and Personal Protection. On the other hand, the greatest opportunity for risk reduction comes by focusing in the upper part of the RCH. Huge improvements in electrical safety will come by Eliminating Substituting, and Engineering solutions that manage electrical energy exposure.
The Department of Energy (DOE)

For better insight into the RCH process, let’s look at a 2005 Department of Energy report on their electrical safety record. This report cited six reasons for their 14.1 electrical incidents per month.
Within this DOE report, “hazard identification” [Table 1] stood out as an administrative control issue resulting in numerous electrical incidents. The solution was to get tougher administrators or look for improvements higher up in the RCH. Right above Administrative Controls (see Figure 1) we learn that increasing employee’s awareness of electrical hazards will reduce these types of incidents. A potential solution is to label and mark all voltage sources (hazards) feeding the electrical system. Voltage indicators and voltage portals wired to each voltage source provides two benefits: It identifies the voltage source and provides a means to check the status of that voltage source without exposure to voltage. Apply the same process to “LO/TO violations”.


ADMINISTRATIVE Properly administrating NFPA 70e requires all electrical enclosures to have warning labels with incident energy level (calories). AWARENESS /ELIMINATION Marking all energy sources on the panel exterior provides personnel with simple yet safe hazard identification.

LO/TO violations including shortcuts or lack of energy verification

ADMINISTRATIVE Can the LO/TO procedure be rewritten to reduce exposure to voltage?

ELIMINATION /SUBSTITUTION Thru-door voltage pre-checking ‘eliminates’ all exposure to voltage for mechanical LO/TO* and provide significant risk reduction for Electrical LO/TO.

Reducing electrical energy to Cat 0/1 will greatly reduce the potential arc flash energy SUBSTITUTION Lowering the arc flash energy effectively ‘substitutes’ for a lower risk for a higher risk.

Elimination: The Hall of Fame of Safety

We can enter the Electrical Safety Hall of Fame by finding ways to eliminate voltage exposure. Here are a few practical examples that can be implemented today:
o Mechanical Lock-out Tag-out [LOTO]: LOTO procedures requiring electricians to verify zero energy before performing mechanical maintenance needlessly exposes workers to voltage. Since all voltages do not create mechanical motion, through-door voltage checking devices as part of a mechanical LOTO procedure will eliminate voltage exposure (see Appendix B).
o Why open a control panel? What maintenance functions can be moved to the outside of the panel? Thru-door data access ports are becoming commonplace because they allow programming with the panel door closed (Figure 3). A more recent example is an unmanaged Ethernet switch mounted outside the panel. This unique device allows full through-door access for a worker to troubleshoot and reset the Ethernet switch (Figure 4). What other devices can be re-engineered around through-door electrical safety? Perhaps putting certain branch circuit breakers on the outside of the panel is a good application?
o Control Panel Design: Provide a physical separation between the power and control compartments within an enclosure may become a standard. Voltages under 50 volts are considered safe, so reducing the control power to 24VDC makes the control power section safe to work on while it is energized.
These above examples are only ‘scratching the surface’, so I challenge you to find ways to eliminate voltage exposure.


When safety works perfectly, nothing happens! When there is an incident or a close call the RCH should be an inspiration to find a better way. By applying the RCH principles to electrical safety risks, it will open our eyes to see more practical ways to reduce those risks. Perhaps, we would expend more resources finding electrical safety solutions that will provide both higher safety and productivity dividends.

Harold Pitney Brown intuitively knew that eliminating risks would save lives. He just got one detail wrong when he thought that 300 Volts was not a risk. Now for the rest of the story: To prove that AC voltage is more lethal than DC, Thomas Edison hired Harold Pitney Brown to develop the first electric chair that executed William Kemmler on August 6, 1890. So much for electrical safety!

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Seo Advice That Will Build Traffic For Your Website

A lot of people own a website, but many are not particularly effective. You must use search engine optimization in order to make sure people notice your website but you need an SEO consultant Sydney first. The more your site is seen, the better the success. The following tips will ensure you optimize your site.

There are many ways to improve your search engine optimization. You will obtain high ranked results if the system for search. The increased performance will make your readers happier as well.

This means repeating keywords should be repeated as often as you can without making the flow of the writing stilted. As search engines work partly by locating keywords and evaluating their density, your content will shine if you pay close attention to the words you use.

Ask about their experience in the business. You also need to be aware of any risks in order to make an informed decision.

This is very useful for clients who discover you through YouTube because it is easy to remember.

Blogs get ranked easily since search engine algorithms prefer highly-structured data and fresh content.Backlinks also play a large role in search engine optimization.

Avoid Flash on any website you want to optimize for search engines. Flash isn’t read by the spiders and text used in flash won’t be read.You will need to have content both crawlable and visible at all times.

A vital step towards optimizing your search engine results is to include a site map. Spiders can more easily access all of your site if there is a site map. A big site might need more than one site map.A good rule to go by is to show only 100 links on any given site map.

A site map is an important part of your website if you want search engine to index your site pages. Even for a small site, a site map can have a big impact on its search engine rankings.

Try to include a transcript for videos or audio you post to your site.

Invest in online using services such as Adbrite or Adwords. DIY SEO does not be enough for some major ranking increases. These types of advertisers can help increase hits. Using a advertising can help your site grow.

Javascript can be use in your website, but a search engines software won’t work with it too well. Java use is something a website owner will have to think about, but varying website capabilities does have much to do with how respective crawlers respond.

The free publicity given from these services will increase of website traffic.You should never neglect to use a free publicity.

Websites that are properly executed for search engine results rarely employ image links. Image links only provide the search engines effectively.

The takeaway message from this paragraph is that Google looks for keywords in alt tags, so keywords included in these tags will improve page ranking.

Join the local Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau for better search engine ranking. This assists with local searches as they are generally automatically linked to you automatically.

Think like a customer when selecting search engine optimization keywords.Find out what a person is likely to type into a search terms or phrases people are using when looking for a website like yours.

Search engines can be used to increase visitors to your website. Making your website spider friendly is imperative for success. Search engine spiders are only able to analyze text; therefore, so it is key to use tags on all graphic elements in your site. Be sure to write a description that is rich in keywords.

Use language meta tag if your site is not in English. This simple step helps increase your rank when someone searches in that language.

You should include email marketing in the promotion of your website. Use your keywords and include any social sites you belong to. Make sure the email is easy to forward emails to others.

It is important for your server to treat URLs as case sensitive.

If you choose to make use of link directories to direct links to your website, verify the legitimacy of the directories you use by checking to see if its sites are useful and interesting. Many directories have poorly designed or are simply out of date. Exercise caution whenever you chose connections.

Keyword proximity is something that you are focusing on SEO. As a rule for this, it’s a good idea to keep keywords close to each other, especially those that might be searched at the same time by a single user. This helps to increase your ranking with search engines.

A simple website will not earn you the profit. You need to be sure your site is easily found on search engines. If your website has more view, you may get more sales. Make use of the suggestions you found here and boost your site’s visibility.

How to Organise a Charity Walk Or Run

Donate now to contribute to funds that support children who live in poverty. Charity events in any form are always popular, but increasingly, many organisations are choosing to recruit their fundraisers through more interactive events such as walks and runs. A charity walk or run is not only a healthy way for your participants to raise money for a good cause, but also a very visible way of publicising your charitable cause to the community.

If a charity run or walk seems like a good fit for your organisation, here is an overview of some things you may want to keep in mind when planning the event.


Choosing a Route
When planning a mass participation event such as a walk or run it is important that you first take some time to carefully consider the route your participants will be following. Your choice of route will play a central roll in other decisions you make concerning resources, staff size, security, transportation, volunteers, signage, and ultimately the satisfaction of your participants.

When mapping out the course, first determine the type of event you would like to hold. Most fundraising events try to be as inclusive as possible because, simply put, more fundraisers translates into more donations for your cause! If your goal is to be as inclusive as possible that means you want people of all ages and physical abilities to be able to participate in your event. That said, when choosing your route it is a good idea to not only look at a map but get out there and actually walk the course yourself. When surveying the road, pay attention to elevation gain, traffic, road conditions, and any other factors that could potentially make participating in your event strenuous for the less physically able. You may also benefit from contacting a local running or walking club for suggestions of routes that may fit your participant’s ability levels. Some common route distances for charity events are 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon.


Participant safety is something to strongly consider when mapping out your route. How much traffic travels along your route? Are there adequate pedestrian lanes that will keep your participants a safe distance from the traffic? Does your route require that your participants cross any especially busy streets? Is any stretch of your route undergoing construction? Will the course be open to the public making it easy for non-registered people to come in contact with your participants? Asking yourself these questions will help you chart your course around any potential hazards and allow your participants to have a fun, care-free experience on event day.

When choosing the location of your route, also keep participant and spectator access to transportation in mind. If you want crowds of spectators to turn out and easy access to the event for your participants, make sure that the course is in close proximity to public transportation and parking for those who have automobiles. If your event is not in a metropolitan area, it may be a good idea to hire busses and choose some meet up locations where people can catch a ride to the event site.

Resources and Staff
The number of participants and spectators you expect on event day as well as length of course are the two main factors that will determine the size of your volunteer staff and resources needed. Here is a list of items commonly used by event walking and running events:

  • Two way radios
  • Rope, tape and cones for course marking
  • Signage for start and finish areas
  • Signage for services and support areas
  • Portable toilets
  • Trash cans
  • Food
  • Water
  • Tents
  • Tables
  • Stage for awards ceremony
  • PA system
  • Generator

Looking at your course map, you will be able to strategically position your water stops, trash cans, portable toilets, concessions stands and so on. When placing these resources, keep in mind that many people will want to gather around in the finish/celebration area after the event so you may need additional resources in that area. When planning for food and water for your participants, you may want to ask a local market to sponsor the event in the way of donated oranges, bananas and water that you can position along the course. For your spectator concession stands, you will need to determine what types of food you will sell and if you will need to prepare or cook food on site. There are many companies that you can hire to staff and prepare food at your concession stands or you could use your volunteers. In either case you should check to see if you need a special permit to sell or prepare food for the public.

Legalities of a Charity Walk or Run
Speaking of special permits, there are several legalities to consider when planning a charity walk or run. Now that you have chosen your route, have you looked to see if you need permission to use this planned route? You may need to speak with the local council or the person who owns the land. Have you checked to make sure there are no other events planned on your route come event day? Have you obtained liability insurance for your event? Ideally, your insurance should cover any medical problems that occur during the event as well as damage to the land and surrounding property. With the size of event you are expecting, are you required to schedule police presence or request road closures? Do you have permission from the organisation you are raising money for to use their logo and name?

Considering every city, town, or district have their own set of regulations, how you address them will depend on local law and requirements. What we highlighted above are only some of the larger items you should investigate. We would suggest contacting your local council for more information.


Now that you picked an event location and have all of the necessary approvals and permits, its time to start spreading the word! Traditional event marketing consists of mail, tv, radio, newspaper advertisements and signs posted up about town. These methods can be effective, reach large audiences, and should be looked into but they can come at a high cost. Don’t let that get you down though – the internet has spawned many highly targeted, low-cost, and sometimes free marketing channels that are ideal for creating a buzz about your charity event. Here is a list of some web marketing options that you may want to consider:

Build a website – This is a must. Nowadays, any successful event has an official website where they can direct the public, media and interested sponsors for more information.

Facebook, Twitter, Social Media – There are countless online communities and fan pages out there that are filled with people passionate about the same cause you are raising money for. Get involved with these people and immerse yourself in the online conversation. Build a Facebook Fan Page or Twitter page for your event, invite your new online friends and encourage them to recruit their friends to get involved for the cause.

Paid Search Advertising – Google and other search engines allow you to bid on keyword phrases and place an ad at the top of their search results. Try bidding on keywords such as “London charity events” or “London fundraising run”. Create compelling ad copy and entice the user to click through to your official event website for more information.

Submit Your Event to an Online Events Calendar – There are many websites that will give you a free event listing on their online calendar. Submit your event profile to as many of these as possible and make sure to include a link back to your website in the description.

Email Advertising – Does your organisation already have a list of members who subscribe to your monthly newsletter or email announcements? Send your contact list an attractive HTML email with information about your event and a link to your. Make sure to include “share” buttons in your emails to make it easy for the recipient to pass it on to a friend. Also, on your website, Facebook page and Twitter page, include a feature where the visitor can join your mailing list.

Participant Registration

Something important to consider from the start of the planning phase is how you will collect contact information, entry fees, and fundraising commitments from people who want to participate. Until recently, most events collected participant data and entry fees in person in the event office with a paper registration form. To streamline the staff workload that comes along with paper-based registration, you may want to find a technology provider that specialises in event management software and online event registration. An integrated online event management system will allow you to build a custom online registration form, link to that form from your website, and collect your participant contact data online. We would suggest that the technology you choose include a merchant gateway integrated with the registration form so that you can seamlessly and securely collect payment online during the registration process. Depending on your technology provider, the data collected on an online registration form should be captured and stored in a database that you can log into, manage the data, run reports, email participants and process cancellation refunds if needed.

Examples of questions that could be included on a charity walk registration form are:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Emergency Contact
  • Shirt size (if you are offering a free shirt with the entry fee)
  • How did you hear of this event?
  • Number of times you have participated in this event
  • Team Name (if you are offering team fundraising)
  • What is your fundraising goal?
  • What distance will you walk?
  • Will you be attending the pre-event celebration dinner?

If you hope to grow the size of your email database, it is very important that you make the Email question compulsory so that every online registration has an email address associated with it in your database. You will be able to use this email to send out reminder emails about changes to the event schedule or important notices about fundraising. Any fully integrated online event management system will also need the email address to send out an automatic confirmation email letting the registrant know that their payment has been accepted and spot saved for event admission.

Fundraising Tools

Some more advanced event management systems include an online fundraising platform that you can integrate with your online registration form. What’s great about this is that every person who registers online will automatically have an online fundraising website created for them. The fundraiser can customise their website, ad images, set a fundraising goal, blog about their progress and training for the event, and communicate with their donors. The donor can visit the fundraising site and make an online donation with their credit card at which point the donation amount is added to the fundraisers goal total and money is sent to the charitable organisation. Many organisations are moving their fundraising efforts completely online because the general consensus is that people are likely to donate more if they are able to do it online from the comfort of their own home.

Communication up until event day

The key to a successful event is to steadily build the registrant’s excitement and anticipation from the day they register all the way up until they arrive on event day. Participants that register months prior to the event may loose interest or slow down their fundraising efforts if they are not engaged and encouraged on a regular basis. This is where collecting your registrations online will be very useful. Since you have a database of registrants including their email address, you will be able to send out reminder emails and keep the communication going up until the event. Some content ideas for a weekly newsletter could be:

Updates and special announcements of developments to the event schedule or added entertainment
Fundraising Tips
News and articles from the organisation your event will be raising money for
A training plan for those getting in shape for the event
Special contests for the post-event awards ceremony
Free prizes and incentives for those participants that recruit friends to join the cause

You should also send one final email to your registrants 2-3 days before the event including:

  • Event start time
  • Instructions on how and where to check in upon arrival
  • Schedule of events
  • Reminder to bring extra money if they want to buy merchandise or food at the celebration party
  • Summary of prizes that will be awarded to the top fundraisers
  • The cost of late registration if anyone wants to bring a friend to the event
  • Weather forecast so that people dress appropriately
  • List of hotels in the area for anyone who plans to stay the night


You and your staff may be exhausted after the long build-up to a successful event but believe it or not, you should already be thinking about next year’s event! Considering everyone had a great time, send out a follow-up email and offer your registrants a discounted rate for next year’s event if they register for it now. Or offer them a “returning participant” coupon that they can use when you activate next year’s online registration form. Another smart thing to do is send an online survey out to your participants and ask them what they liked and what can be improved upon for next year’s event. You can offer your participants a free gift or registration discount if they complete the form for you. This participant feedback is extremely valuable and will help you get a sense of the participant experience on the ground that many event organisers are so often shielded from on event day with so many administrative tasks to juggle.

Rohan Miller is an online event specialist for The Active Network. For more resources regarding Club Management Software or even about Membership Management Software and especially about Event Management Software please review these pages.

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