Electricity is a dangerous hazard encountered on many job sites. Employees may be trained and certified to work with live energy such as electricians and line men. Other employees may work indirectly with electricity such as construction workers plugging in an electrical tool to a temporary power box. Employers must train employees to recognize hazards in their workplace. Electricity can cause fatal accidents and in construction it is referred to as one of the “Fatal Four”.
Electrical violations occupy two spots (number 7 and 10) on OSHA’s top 10 list of most frequently cited standards and highest assessed penalties for 2012. The first of these two violations pertain to 29 CFR 1910.305 for Wiring methods, components, and general use. The second one pertains to 29 CFR 1910.303, or Electrical general requirements.
OSHA recommends the following safe work rules for workers based on its official fact sheet titled Working Safely with Electricity:
– Use cords as they are manufactured to, and do not create makeshift ones that suit the purpose of your project. In short, do not use altered cords.
– Handle the cords with care. Do not pull on cords when unplugging male plugs/connectors.
– Electrical current travels only in one path, that is, towards the ground beneath you. There’s a possibility that the current may course through your body, especially if you’re in its way. The same thing happens when you touch or hold on to grounded electrical equipment. To make sure that you don’t suddenly become an electrical conductor when operating powered machinery, always inspect equipment before using them. Make sure that electrical systems are grounded and do not use power tools when wet or while stepping on wet areas.
– Finally, inspect equipment for missing insulation, tattered wires and missing ground prongs and any other signs of damages. Make use of ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established under the OSH Act of 1970 to ensure the rights of all workers to a safe and healthful workplace. It provides America’s working men and women resources on how to protect themselves from occupational hazards.
OSHAcampus.com offers electrical safety training and NFP 70e training that is compliant and accepted by OSHA. Call our sales force for further information on our training programs and stay tuned for our new blog posts for industry trends, news and updates.