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Wilmington 302-427-9500 Bear 302-834-8484 Milford 302-422-6705 Lewes 302-550-0155

Electrical Safety Month

safety procedures

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.

Electrical Injury Statistics

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.

Basic Safety Procedures to Follow

If you or your employees work with electricity every day, you should:

  • Check the electrical cords of all tools before use.
  • Keep a safe distance from live power lines.
  • Never work in standing water.
  • Never repair electrical outlets or cables unless you are authorized to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for any section of a facility you are working on.

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.

How Can Electricity Harm You?

Electrocution or electrical accidents can occur when:

  • Electrical current makes direct contact with a worker.
  • The electrical current arcs from one location to another.
  • Electrical arcs can create energy that heats the area quickly.
  • Electrical sparks create a blinding flash.

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.

What Types of Injuries Can Occur During an Electrical Accident?

Workers can be injured by electrical currents at any time. These injuries occur when electricity is discharged:

  • Thermal burns: Burns that are caused by direct contact with an electrical current or spark.
  • Muscle contractions or spasms: This causes dangerous falling accidents.
  • Heart damage: Electrical currents can cause damage or stoppage.
  • Temporary or permanent blindness: This can result from the bright flash of a spark.
  • Collapsed lung: This can happen due to the immense pressure caused by a massive electrical discharge.

What Can Employers do to Prevent Electrical Injuries?

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.

Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Workers Injured in Electrical Accidents on Worksites

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.

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