Electrical safety is typically one of the main safety concerns at construction sites. Data from the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) shows that the construction industry accounts for the highest electrical-related injuries and fatalities at the workplace.
Thankfully, with a well-thought-out safety plan, you can improve electrical safety on your construction site and prevent the dangers, says the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Here are eight construction electrical safety tips to get you started.
Provide Personal Protection Gear
Electrical safety should start at an individual level. Everyone working within the spaces in the construction site with ongoing electrical work should wear personal protective gear. The kind of gear you should wear will depend on your level of exposure to electricity. Everyone working in an area with ongoing electrical work should wear gloves and footwear. Those working on the wiring or near electric wiring may also need face shields, fire-resistant helmets, and other gear that protects the eyes and ears.
Proper Risk Assessment
Before you start your operations in a worksite, you should conduct a comprehensive risk assessment. This will enable you to identify hazards and craft an appropriate safety plan. The assessment will also enable your crew to plan on how to set up the electrical infrastructure without compromising everyone’s safety.
Use High-Quality Testing Equipment
Acquiring and relying on high-quality testing equipment is one of the most important electrical safety tips. Such equipment includes receptacle testers, clamp meters, and voltage detectors. To prevent accidents, you should only use high-quality and approved power testing equipment. Double-check all wiring to ascertain if it’s dead, grounded, or requires additional safety gear.
The Right Signage
Many catastrophic electrical accidents result from a lack of awareness. It’s for this reason that you should mark all electrical hazards in your worksite. The signs should have illustrations and labels in language that can be understood easily, even by a layman. This will ensure everyone is aware of the risks and thus can take precautions.
While the crew doing electrical work is usually comprised of trained professionals, you still need to refresh their safety training. Workers tend to become relaxed about safety after using the same equipment for an extended period. This can lead to improper use and bad habits which can lead to accidents. Everyone should be continually reminded of the appropriate ways of handling electrical wiring and equipment.
Use Voltage Regulators and Circuit Breakers
Even with precautions and the best planning, emergencies can still occur. There could be a short-circuit, power surge, or myriad other electrical issues, which is why you need voltage regulators and circuit breakers to cut off or regulate power during such situations. The ability to shut down or regulate power when necessary can make the difference between an insignificant incidence and catastrophic damage or a fatal accident.
Avoid Wet Conditions
You should shield all your electrical infrastructure and equipment from water. If water comes into contact with your equipment, you should cut off the power supply and only turn it on after an inspection and approval of a professional electrician.
Insulate and Organize All Cables
Having uncovered or messy power cables running through a construction site is a recipe for an accident. For one, a worker may accidentally touch them resulting in electrocution or shock, or the cables could come into contact with each other leading to short-circuiting or even fire.
Use these eight tips to improve electrical safety at construction sites. For extra peace of mind, purchase the right insurance coverage. For easy and convenient construction insurance services, contact the experts at Artisan Insurance Solutions. We are ready to get you the coverage that you need today.