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Minimizing the risk of electrocution on construction sites

Most construction workers in New York are aware of the dangers and hazards they face when they are on the job. However, they may not know that the risk of electrocution is great. Fatal injuries from electrical hazards are a leading cause of death for many construction workers. Countless others suffer nonfatal wounds from electrical construction accidents

Electrical hazard accidents are preventable. Some electrical accidents are due to worker carelessness; others are because of employer negligence. Workers should take the following safety recommendations into consideration before they arrive at their worksites. 

Get enough rest 

Construction contractors who feel tired or fatigued are not alert enough to safely perform their duties. They may not see dangling electrical wiring, faulty equipment and other dangerous conditions that can lead to them experiencing electrical shocks and electrocutions. Workers can reduce their risk of electrocution by getting more rest outside of work hours. If they feel too tired to focus on their work, they should take breaks so they can nap and return to their jobs feeling refreshed and more alert. 

Review safety rules and work environment 

Workers should review OSHA and their worksite safety guidelines daily to stay current on how to identify and handle electrical hazards. They should also monitor their work areas for electrical hazards like overhead electrical wires before they begin performing their duties. 

Inspect equipment 

Construction contractors should inspect all electrical equipment before use. Before checking their machinery, tools and equipment, they should make sure to disconnect them from power sources. They should assess the condition of all power cords and follow inspection guidelines to determine if any equipment they will be using is defect-free. If there are issues that interfere with their equipment's normal functions, they should label the defected device to prevent other workers from using it, inform their supervisors and managers, and follow their employer’s protocol for defective machinery and tools. They should discard any equipment that is not repairable. 

Wear protective safety gear 

Wearing the right safety gear can mean the difference between life and death for workers in the construction industry. Before working with electricity or in areas where electrical wiring or equipment are present, workers should wear properly fitting specialized personal protective gear that includes insulated rubber gloves, line hoses and nonconductive hard hats. 

The first line of defense workers have against electrocution is themselves. Contractors should follow proper work protocol, remain alert, and avoid hazardous conditions and behaviors to reduce the likelihood of experiencing electrocution on the job.

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