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May is Electrical Safety Month, and everyone should be extra cautious when working with electricity. Electricity can cause serious accidents and different types of workplace injuries, so it is important to learn about electrical safety. Electrical workers and employees alike should advocate for safety during Electrical Safety Month and all year round.
In 2016 alone, there were 154 fatal accidents involving electricity on worksites. While this number may seem small compared to the population of the United States, no one should be killed by electricity on a worksite because it is often preventable.
Additionally, 53 percent of these accidents occurred in the construction industry. Proper safety procedures should be used to avoid these accidents in the future. There were also 1,540 non-fatal accidents where employees had to miss work to recover.
If you or your employees work with electricity every day, you should:
You must train your employees to use all the tools that you have provided, and you should update this training every year. You should also give your employees a handbook that outlines the basic safety procedures that are used by your company.
Electrocution or electrical accidents can occur when:
As previously mentioned, you must keep a safe distance when working with electricity, and you should not bring conductors or conductive materials to the worksite. You do not want to accidentally ground the electricity yourself or with another object.
Workers can be injured by electrical currents at any time. These injuries occur when electricity is discharged:
Employers should train their employees to use all equipment properly, and employees should be trained to use basic safety precautions around electricity. At the same time, employers should provide their workers with equipment that is made from non-conductive materials, like ladders. Additionally, ground fault circuit interrupters should be implemented on all worksites. Employers should call off all electrical work if it is wet, extremely hot, or bitterly cold.
Workers often assume they must complete all tasks no matter what because they have a job to do. Your employer, however, should not force you to work in unsafe conditions. Use your better judgement to avoid electrical accidents and protect your coworkers. If a worker does become injured, he or she may be able to file a Workers’ Compensation claim.
You should talk to one of our Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow when you have been injured in an electrical accident at work. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation. With offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.