As a commercial contractor, reducing risk to our clients and protecting our team is a fundamental part of how we operate. Navigating electrical hazards requires elevated skills and awareness as there are many dangers presented when operating equipment, working with powerlines, insulation, and/or circuits. Not only can a mistake cost time and money – it could also cost lives. OSHA’s electrical standards are designed to protect employees exposed to dangers such as electric shock, electrocution, fires, and explosions. Your contractor should not only be aware of these but should provide field training and continuing education to ensure the safety of everyone on the jobsite.
In accordance with OSHA guidelines here are some of the most common hazards faced in electrical construction and best safety practices to keep everyone safe on the job:
- Improper Grounding: This is the most common electrical violation. Ensure proper grounding before manipulating wires to eliminate unwanted voltage and reduce the risk of electrocution.
- Wet Conditions: It goes without saying that water and electricity do not mix well. Never operate machinery without properly inspecting for dry conditions.
- Exposed Wires: These hazards can cause shocks and burns. Use proper grounding mechanisms before repairing.
- Overloaded Circuits: Understand the capacity of the circuit and always use the proper extension cords and circuit breakers to avoid risk of a fire or injury.
- Damaged Equipment or Protective Wear: Being the job each day by inspecting all machinery and ensuring all workers are properly outfitted with protective eyewear and headgear.Never try to fix equipment unless qualified to do so.
Ask your contractor or electrician about their safety plan prior to starting a project. OSHA has a variety of services and programs to help electrical contractors define and identify risks and hazards and to develop an effective safety program. Legacy is dedicated to increasing the quality of services provided in the electrical industry as a whole. Through professional organizations and collaborative, peer-to-peer discussions, we are continually learning and helping others create safe workplaces.