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Prevent Electrical Shocks and Burns

Don’t Be Shocked When it Comes to Electrical Safety

Job Site Safety Precautions to Prevent Electrical Burns and Shocks

As you already know, working with (or in close proximity to) electrical inputs and outputs can be dangerous. In 2015 alone, there were 81 construction worker deaths as a result of electrocution.

Instead of becoming another statistic, there are plenty of ways electricians can minimize their risk of injury and create a safer, healthier work environment to perform their services.Consider taking the following safety precautions before your next job.

All Contactor Worksites Should Fulfill OSHA Standards

To prevent electrical injuries on the job, ensure every jobsite you’re working on complies with Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) standards. While this may seem obvious, OSHA keeps an extensive log of electrical safety regulations that contractors are expected to comply with.

Key topics from Electrical Contractors and Other Wiring Installation Contractors include:

  • Wiring design and protection;
  • Hazardous locations;
  • Safeguards for personal protection and more.

OSHA also offers training and educational materials to help small businesses like yours become familiar with electrical hazards and how to prevent related injuries.

While training and education is an important aspect of retaining this information, also consider offering a checklist to employees with the necessary equipment, tools and protective gear to use at each site.

Make Pre-Job Safety Checks a Regular Occurrence

It’s not uncommon for contractors to be exposed to unsafe electrical conditions, especially during repairs. But, the best way to prevent unnecessary electrical injuries and shocks is to proactively evaluate your worksite before beginning service.

You and your team of contractors should make it a regular habit to inspect all equipment, cords and power bars, and electrical fittings for damage before use. More pre-service safety precautions include:

  • Check all areas for frayed or uncovered wiring, as well as damage to circuits, cords and outlets.
  • Inspect the area for any moisture or liquid buildup. Leave beverages out of the direct service site.
  • Water is especially conductive to electrical currents and can increase your risk of electric shock.

Keep ladders and stepstools at least 10 feet away from power lines.

In addition to checking the worksite, your team should also inspect all equipment and tools before diving into work, as electrical injuries can also be a result of your own tools.

Educate Your Team on Their Risks and Proper Safety Precautions

There are four main types of electric-related injuries: electrocution, electric shock, thermal burns and falls. Your employees should familiarize themselves with the risks and how to treat each of these injuries should they occur.

If your employee or coworker has suffered a fall or electrical injury, call 911 immediately if:

  • They experience confusion or dizziness.
  • Have difficulty breathing.
  • Experience irregular heart beat (e.g. too slow / fast, speeding up or slowing down to dangerous levels).
  • Experience severe muscle pain.
  • Experience loss of consciousness.
  • Experience a severe burn.
  • Go into cardiac arrest.

Consider the following safety tips in the event of electrocution, shock, burns and falls:

  • Turn off the power or appliances within the worksite to prevent further damage.
  • Do not touch or move a person who has suffered from an electrical injury or fall if they are still in contact with the electrical current. Instead, place something non-conductive in between the person and source of electricity, such as a chair, doormat, plastic toolbox, etc.
  • Even if the shock seems minor, monitor the person’s condition closely for 24 hours.
  • If the person is no longer breathing and is not in contact with the electrical current, begin performing CPR until emergency personnel arrive.