The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2020, the number of fatal injuries within the construction industry was at a 5-year high. One of the top causes of death was electrocution.
Electrocution is a severe, often fatal, electrical injury that can result from accidental contact with live electrical wires, faulty equipment or unsafe working conditions. However, it is possible to minimize these risks by raising awareness and adhering to essential prevention measures.
Understand the risks
Understanding the inherent dangers is an important first step in mitigating the risk of electrocution on construction sites. Construction workers regularly work with power tools, wiring and electrical systems, putting them at risk for accidental contact with live wires, malfunctioning equipment or poorly installed electrical setups. These encounters can lead to severe electrical shocks, resulting in burns, internal injuries or even fatalities.
Put safety measures in place
Construction workers must stay safe to avoid electrocution. They can do this in a few ways:
- Learn about electrical safety to know what is dangerous and how to stay safe.
- Before starting a construction job, check for things like power lines and underground cables that could be risky.
- Wear special gloves and boots that protect against electricity and use safety tools that turn off power quickly if there is a problem.
- Check electrical tools and gear often to make sure they work well. Fix or replace any broken tools or machines promptly.
- Stay far away from power lines, and always treat them as active and unsafe. Only use tools that do not conduct electricity when near power lines.
- Share information about electrical dangers and know what to do if there is an electrical accident.
By incorporating these safety measures and promoting a culture of electrical awareness on construction sites, workers and employers can significantly reduce the risk of electrocution. With a dedicated commitment to safety, construction sites can remain productive while prioritizing the health and lives of their workers.