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Recognizing electrical hazards on a construction site

On Behalf of | May 28, 2021 | Blog

Pennsylvania construction site injuries might need a quick trip to the emergency room or result in long-term damage with life-altering consequences. As a construction worker, you may identify some hazards easily. Malfunctioning equipment, the risk of falling objects and scaffolding dangers are among the most common. However, other threats may be less noticeable.

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, nearly 2,000 non-fatal injuries in 2019 resulted in missed work. More than a third of these injuries involved construction, maintenance and repair.

Hazard identification

The most evident hazards occur when working near a power source, electrical equipment and wiring. Buried power lines have the same high voltages as overhead energized electrical lines. You may not realize how close you are if you don’t see any power line indicators. Avoid injury by de-energizing and grounding them as soon as you become aware of their presence.

If you use electrical equipment for your job, inspect the equipment daily for cuts and cracks on the cords, wires and cables. Exposed electrical parts and detached insulation can cause shocks and burns. Have qualified personnel repair it when it shows wear and tear. Double insulated tools and equipment used with ground-fault circuit interrupters can help minimize the potential for electrical injuries.

Types of injuries

Electric shocks typically cause burns on the skin and may result in involuntary muscle contractions. When these injuries occur while working on a ladder or scaffold, you might lose your balance. Severe injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord damage and TBI, may result from a fall.

Electrical burns can damage tissue and organs as a result of the heat produced from the current. If you have third or fourth-degree burns, infection poses a serious threat. The disfigurement and scarring accompanying severe burns may require several surgical procedures, rehabilitation and long-term care. If you’re injured on a job site because of a third-party’s shoddy electrical work, a personal injury attorney can help.

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