Extensions cords are associated with ~4,000 injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms on an annual basis and ~3500 fires causing serious injury or death due to electrocution. The harsh conditions found in livestock and poultry facilities elevate the risks associated with misuse of extension cords. While extension cords can be convenient for powering portable equipment in remote locations in livestock facilities, they are not intended for use in powering permanent or semi-permanent equipment, even in remote locations.
Permanent or semi-permanent equipment should be hard-wired into the permanent wiring of a building or plugged directly into a suitable outlet without requiring the use of extension cords. Similarly, extension cords should not be left in place when there is an intermittent need for equipment. Rather, the extension cords should be unplugged and removed and stored appropriately between each use. Cords must be carefully inspected each time they are used and the user must be certain the extension cords are appropriately sized and rated to meet the demands of the equipment. The use of ground-fault circuit interrupters in non-permanent wiring is mandated by Occupational Safety and Health Act regulations.
(29 CFR 1910.304):
“All 125-volt, single-phase, 15-, 20-, and 30-ampere receptacle outlets that are not part of the permanent wiring of the building or structure and that are in use by personnel shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.”
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