Electrical Safety on the Job Site
By: The Working Man
Of course, electrical contractors are responsible for the
training, safety and health of their employees whose work
may expose them to the hazards of electricity, but
electrical safety should also be the concern of everyone on
the job site.
The hazards of electrical work are obvious, the most
prominent being the risk of electrical shock or
electrocution. But there is also a serious hazard and risk
of injury from arc flash and arc blast that the average
worker may not consider without a reminder.
In the United States, the safety laws of OSHA and the
various states have greatly increased the safety of workers
from electrical hazards, but it is up to you and your
coworkers to follow the rules and meet the standards in
order to work with safety around electricity.
For example, if there is the possibility of arc flash in the
areas you work in, you should be sure to be wearing the
proper Personal Protective Equipment
for the task.
Here are some points to check and rules to follow to ensure
your safety on the job:
- Make sure all electrical cords have
grounding prongs, and
never circumvent the ground.
- If you must use extension cords for powered
make sure that they are designed for heavy use. (Look for S,
ST, SO, or STO imprinted on the casing.) Don't use extension
cords that don't have a 3-prong grounding plug.
- Keep cords and cables away from sharp corners and other
possible damage, and don't plug multiple cords into one
- Immediately replace any worn or damaged cords.
- Don't use damaged electric tools and keep tools and cords
- Don't work on electrical circuits unless all power is shut
off and grounds are attached. Make sure lockouts are
installed and tagged.
- Don't bypass any electrical safety barriers for any
- Don't remove a fuse from a circuit without making sure
that the switch is off. Use an approved fuse puller and
break the contact on the hot side first. When installing the
new fuse, put the fuse into the load side of the fuse clip
- When working outdoors, make sure that you know the
location of every overhead power line and that they are
avoided by at least ten feet when moving large equipment or
carrying tall ladders.
- Work clothing should be made of cotton to reduce the risk
of second-degree thermal burns. Special
boots for electricians
are always a good idea.
Many people die of electrical injuries who should have known
better. Don't become a statistic.
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