Working with electrics is inherently dangerous and the risk of suffering an electrical shock is particularly concerning. However, certified electricians undertake extensive training to reduce the risk of workplace accidents. To understand the occupational hazards that electricians and construction workers face, take a look at these five ways to stay safe when doing electrical work:
Ways to Stay Safe when Doing Electrical Work
1. Identify Known Hazards
Before undertaking electrical work, a risk assessment should always be conducted. This enables workers to identify known hazards and take steps to mitigate the risk they pose. Inadvertent contact with overhead or underground powerlines is one of the biggest risks on a construction site, which means that all workers need to be wary when using ladders and cranes, as well as when breaking ground.
2. Follow Lockout/Tagout Procedures
When multiple people are working on site, it’s vital to know when the electrical power is on and when it’s off. If an electrician assumes that power is off and begins work, they could suffer catastrophic injuries or be killed if someone else has switched the power back on in the meantime. Lockout/tagout procedures are designed to prevent this from happening and should be followed on every site.
3. Use Insulated Tools
No matter how careful you are, it isn’t always possible to prevent a tool making accidental contact with an electrical connection. If a tool slips while you’re using it and a connection is made, for example, the person holding it could sustain an electrical shock. Insulated tools reduce the risk of this happening and ensure that minimal metal is exposed.
4. Test for Voltage
Even when the power has been turned off, it’s always worth testing for voltage with a non-contact voltage tester (NCVT). If a unit is receiving power from an unexpected source, an NCVT will alert you to the fact that it’s still live. This gives you time to find the source of the power and turn it off before you start working, which could prevent you from suffering a serious injury.
5. Don’t Get Complacent
When you’re working with electrics day-in, day-out, it’s easy to become complacent about the dangers. However, being lax about safety procedures can mean the difference between life and death when you’re doing electrical work. Remain vigilant and you’ll drastically reduce the chances of getting hurt.
Dealing with Electrical Accidents
While there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of getting hurt while doing electrical work, it isn’t always possible to prevent an accident from happening. If you’ve been injured while undertaking electrical work, it can be advisable to contact a reputable electrical shock accident attorney. With specialist legal advice, you can find out if you’re eligible to claim compensation for your injuries. Furthermore, your lawyers will be able to tell you how much compensation you could be awarded.
Although no-one ever intends to get hurt at work, it’s not unusual for people to sustain injuries in the course of their employment. With the right legal advice, however, you can ensure that you don’t suffer financially because of a workplace accident.