Preventing Electrocutions on Construction Sites

Danger-Electrocution-Hazard-Label-LB-1501Many work related deaths are preventable.  One in every ten construction fatalities are caused by electrocutions and are the third leading cause of deaths among construction workers.  Constructions workers often say say that a big concern for them is working near live wires or overhead wires when using a crane on-site.

As with any job workers need to be properly educated and trained about on job duties, responsibilities and hazards.  There are federal standards that are in place to help prevent workers from being injured they include:

  • Checking overhead lines
  • Checking to make sure that wires are properly grounded
  • Using ground fault circuit interrupters
  • Properly using lockout / tagout safety protocols

Crew members and crane operators can be electrocuted when a crane comes in contact with overhead power lines.  Cranes should be operated at slower than normal pace when they are being used near overhead lines.  A signal worker with communication to the cab of the crane should be in place to be a second set of eyes.  Safe routes should be marked off especially if the crane will be making repeated passes by or through the lines.  Workers should stand clear and not be in contact with the crane.

Employees can also take extra precautions when on the job site to ensure that they are minimizing their chance of accidentally being electrocuted.  Some of these tips include:

  • Making sure they are properly trained and not doing jobs that are out of their scope of work
  • Making sure that they have a current permit and everything has been inspected
  • Wearing protective gear including gloves, eye protection, and heavy rubber soled shoes

No worker should every feel that they are in harms way.  If you do feel this way make sure to bring it up to a supervisor or foreman.  Doing your part will help prevent accidents from happening as well.  Take all the necessary precautions to make sure you get home safely to your families every night.  More information on how to prevent electrocutions on construction sites can be found on OSHA’s website.  I hope that this information has been informative and for our group members out please feel free to add in any thoughts that I may have missed.

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