Four Electrical Risks on Construction Sites
Workers on construction sites are exposed to several risks — electrocution being one of them. This makes electrical safety extremely important in any construction company.
- Power Lines.These can either be above or below the ground, and in the way of commercial buildings, crane operators or scaffolding. All these may pose problems during digging or machine operations. As the power lines carry high voltage, contact of any kind with the power lines would be extremely dangerous.
- Electrocution.The risk of electrocution is high on every construction site due to the presence of several electrical products. If they are not used in the right manner, employees can electrocute themselves, which can lead to serious injuries or even death.
- No Maintenance. Even the regular construction electrical materials can become dangerous if not properly maintained. Repeated use of electrical equipment can result in frayed wiring, short-circuits and insulation breaks — all of which can turn hazardous for the workers.
- Portable Generator. In case of power outages, a portable generator may be used, however, it can be hazardous if it is kept indoors or is improperly used.
PREVENTIVE MEASURES FOR ELECTRICAL SAFETY
Some preventive measures to ensure electrical safety include:
- ensuring all employees wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and use the right tools while de-energizing or testing live electrical circuits, parts or otherwise working live;
- putting an effective lockout on live and energized circuits;
- installing guard rails if workers are working on elevated surfaces;
- removing debris to keep the work area clean;
- removing all combustible materials, liquids and containers from the welding area to prevent sparks or electrical fire; and
- keeping cords and power tools away from moisture or places close to water.
When a live wire comes in touch with the metallic surface of an appliance, workers can get an electric shock or, worse, be electrocuted.
Avoid this by plugging the appliance or tool into the GFCI outlet. It has a built-in sensor which monitors the inflow and outflow of the electricity from any electrical appliance. If there is any change in electrical flow, it will shut down the power, thus protecting employees from electrocution.
IMPORTANCE OF TRAINING AND SUPERVISION
Since working with electrical equipment puts forth numerous risks, construction companies must focus on training their employees to show them the right techniques to use construction electrical products. This will not just help in keeping them safe but also help in curbing accidents that occur due to electricity.
Managers should constantly supervise staff, ensure that they are using the correct safety procedures, handling themselves in the right manner and complying with all the necessary OSHA regulations. A clear idea of how to keep various operations in a construction site safe ensures employee safety.