May is National Electrical Safety Month.
Working with electricity can be dangerous. Engineers, electricians, and other professionals work with electricity directly, including working on overhead lines, cable harnesses, and circuit assemblies.
Others, such as office workers and sales representatives, work with electricity indirectly and may also be exposed to electrical hazards.
Electricity has long been recognized as a serious workplace hazard. OSHA’s electrical standards are designed to protect employees exposed to dangers such as electric shock, electrocution, fires, and explosions.
According to Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), in 2018, the construction industry accounted for more than half of all electrical fatalities.
Many workers are unaware of the potential electrical hazards present in their work environment, which makes them more vulnerable to the danger of electrocution.
The following hazards are the most frequent causes of electrical injuries:
- Contact with power lines;
- Lack of ground-fault protection;
- Path-to-ground, missing or discontinuous;
- Equipment not used in the manner prescribed; and
- Improper use of extension and flexible cords.
OSHA’s QuickCard offers tips and suggestions in avoiding burns, shocks, and electrocution.
Should an on-the-job accident occur, workers have the option of filing a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit if the injury was caused by third-party negligence.