Electrocution remains a large risk for MD construction workers

Working on a construction site in Prince Georges can be dangerous, even when employees are taking preventative measures. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration points out that one of the risks is that of suffering electrocution. In fact, the problem is so serious that electrocution is listed as one of construction’s fatal four causes of fatalities. Holding the No. 2 spot, electrocution, along with falling, struck by object, and getting caught in or between objects, was responsible for 58.1 percent of all deaths that occurred in 2014 to construction workers.

Construction workers use many tools that are operated by a motor and may require connection to an electrical current. Since construction sites often have unfinished walls and exposed wiring, it is not surprising that electrocution is such a large risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are four types of injuries that are connected to electrical contact and these are falls, burns, electric shock and electrocution. Electrocution is the most serious of the four as it usually causes death.

The seriousness of electrocution makes it vital for every worker to be familiar with safety rules regarding electrical components. Some of these rules include the following:

  • Removing extension cords from an outlet by pulling on the plug
  • When using a generator, the main circuit breaker should be turned off and locked before the generator is started up
  • Electrical equipment should be double-insulated against electrical currents
  • Ladders near power lines should be made of fiberglass or wood, not metal, which can act as a conductor
  • All equipment should be checked carefully for any fraying, tears or damage before every use
  • Workers using portable power tools should never stand on wet surfaces

OSHA and other agencies often offer training programs that help construction workers learn to identify potential electrocution risks that exist on a worksite. Additionally, contractors and supervisors should also help their workers recognize the risks that electrical currents pose and implement policies that are aimed at preventing such accidents from occurring.

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