Construction workers at risk of electrocution

Thousands of workers are killed every year in construction accidents in Maryland and across the United States. While falling objects and falls hold the top two causes of death in the construction industry, electrocutions were responsible for 8.6% of construction fatalities, according to the United States Department of Labor. How do electrical incidents occur and what can workers do to prevent them from happening?

Workers run the risk of being electrocuted when a construction site is set up too closely to power lines or other active electricity sites. A piece of equipment they are working with may come into contact with energized power lines and send a deadly shock to the worker. Electrical equipment and poor wiring, as well as malfunctioning machines, tools, appliances and lighting fixtures can also cause electrocution on the work site.

In order to prevent worker electrocution accidents, contractors should be sure that all work sites stay in compliance with electrical safety regulations, as reported by the Library of Construction Occupational Safety and Health. Furthermore, contractors should contact all utility companies to ensure the power lines surrounding the site have been insulated or de-energized. All workers should be properly trained on how to tag dangerous electrical circuits and always wear proper equipment when working around electrical sites.

Construction workers should ensure they are fully educated on how to work around electrical lines before coming onsite. In addition, workers should stay at least 10 feet from live overhead lines and keep all metal objects away from live lines.

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