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How to avoid electrocution on a construction site

Construction sites are active throughout Ohio, year round. Mechanical equipment, scaffolding and other job site needs can cause severe injuries and fatalities if safety precautions are not in place or ignored. If you sustained injuries on the job, there might be grounds for a claim. The team at Mezibov Butler has experience representing clients in construction accident litigation.

ConstructConnect, Inc reports that electrocution is one of OSHA’s Fatal Four. These are safety hazards that cause the majority of construction worker deaths, annually. Electricity typically flows through conductors such as power lines and wires to complete a circuit. However, your body may act as a conductor if you come into contact with exposed wires, there is non-compliant usage of extension cords or there is faulty equipment in use.

The best way to avoid electrocution is to maintain a safe distance from both underground and overhead power lines, as they carry a high voltage. This may not be feasible if you are working at a construction site. Instead, have the utility company de-energize and ground the lines when ladders, cranes and other equipment is in use. Nonconductive tools and barriers that block access to the area can help keep you and others safe.

Ground-fault circuit interrupters are part of OSHA’s rules and regulations. They are requirements if the receptacle outlets used on-site are temporary, and not part of the permanent structural wiring. GFCIs cut off the electricity if there is an electrical imbalance detected. Other standards set by OSHA include the following:

  • General requirements for employee protection
  • Wiring components, equipment and methods for general use
  • General requirements for electrical equipment and conductors
  • Wiring protection and design

If injuries you sustained on a job site are due to employer negligence, they may be liable. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.


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