Although falls are the most common cause of injury and death in the construction industry, construction workers are also at risk for electrical-related injuries and fatalities. In fact, electrocutions are among the top four construction hazards. If you are a roofing professional, electrical safety should be a top concern. Read on to learn about electrical safety for roofing professionals, and consult a roofing lawyer in Florida if you have any legal questions.
Electrical Exposures to Watch Out For
Roofing professionals should be cognizant of the potential for electrocutions when working at heights due to their increased exposure to power lines. When working on rooftops, workers are exposed to overhead power lines, building wiring, and extension cords, as well as the use of powered hand tools and welders. The potential for massive electrical shock, burns, and fires increases when electrical equipment is not handled properly. Proper hazard recognition and equipment handling training should be provided to every worker.
Controlling Electrocution Hazards
Conduct regular safety checks to identify and control hazards that lead to electrocution. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the following precautions should be taken.
- Locate and identify utilities before starting work
- Locate overhead power lines before operating equipment
- Work a safe distance from power lines
- Beware of electrical hazards while working on ladders and scaffolding
- Use ground-fault circuit interrupters to de-energize circuits
Employers can protect workers from electrical injury by consistently following all grounding requirements, locating and labeling overhead power lines, and making sure that scaffolding and ladders never come within 10 feet of power lines. Other essential tips include:
- Avoid overloading outlets
- Use nationally approved equipment
- Minimize extension cord use where possible
- Use equipment that is properly grounded or double-insulated
- Turn off and disconnect machines before servicing or repairing
- Inspect equipment and cords for defects
- Do not cover cords with rugs or mats
- Avoid using wet electrical equipment or equipment near water
Keep in mind that high voltage electricity can jump through the air without touching a power line. Low voltages, such as 50 milliamps, are also capable of injuring or killing a worker. Always alert your workers of potential electrocution hazards through safety meetings and sign postage.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.