Certain workplaces, especially in construction, have many hazards that are electrical. Knowing how to spot and avoid them can make the difference between sustaining a serious or even life-threatening injury and staying safe on the job. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), injuries related to electricity often come from these sources: using equipment improperly, extension cords that are used incorrectly, coming into contact with live power lines, faulty or no ground-fault protection or the electrical equipment’s power supply isn’t grounded.
Fires, electric shock, explosions and electrocution are some of the dangers workers face from electricity on their work sites.
Protect yourself from getting hurt by electricity
The more knowledgeable you are about precautions, the more likely it is that you can ward off major electrical injuries like electrocution and burns. Below are some tips from OSHA:
- Power lines: Keep a minimum of ten feet between you and power lines that are overhead. Use fiberglass or wood ladders rather than metal ones if you are working close to power lines.
- Faulty or no ground-fault protection: Exposed wires, short circuits and insulation breaks can send an electrical current into the body of a worker in the absence of ground fault protection. Watch out for frayed cords and worn insulation.
- Use power tools exactly as their manufacturer specifies: Also, use power tools’ cords appropriately.
- Extension cords: Look for signs of wear. Take cords out of outlets and power sources by grasping the plug, not by yanking on the cord.
If you do get hurt by electricity at work
You may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. Professional advice can be helpful to make sure that you have all the needed substantiation and everything else in order.