Short-circuit Electrical Hazards Before They Happen

Workers in the construction industry are at a greater risk of sustaining injuries from contact with electricity than the general population. The most common eletrical hazards at work are threefold, they involve: coming into direct contact with live wires/parts; faults in the electrical systems that result in fires; or incidents where electricity creates an ignition source near flammable liquids or gases.

Use these best practices from the US Department of Labor to prevent electrical accidents in the workplace:

  • Lockout/Tagout circuits before working on electrical equipment.
  • Don't rush. Never work alone. Talk to coworkers and confirm your plan is safe.
  • Identify and control all hazardous energy sources before conducting any task and follow safe work procedures.
  • Open the circuit breaker or load break switch to de-energize the incoming power cables or conductors.
  • Open the visual disconnect to confirm incoming power is off.
  • Lockout/Tagout the visual disconnect.
  • Ground the de-energized conductors.
  • Electricians must know how to de-energize and disconnect electrical systems and equipment.
  • Always troubleshoot without power first.
  • If you must troubleshoot an energized circuit, use properly rated personal protective equipment to prevent hazards. For example, use electrically rated gloves, insulated blankets or mats, and polycarbonate barriers to prevent accidental contact with energized components.