Beware -- an electrical hazard can produce shocking results

If you are a construction worker in Omaha, you face an endless list of safety hazards, one of which is electricity. Electricians are not the only ones at risk because electricity will be all around you regardless of the project on which you work. Multiple electrical hazards are present where you renovate, tear down or build a new structure.

Electricity is so much part of your life that complacency might put you at risk. Learning about the potential hazards and the precautions you can take might avoid electrical shocks -- which could be fatal. Every construction site should have a ready supply of safety equipment to protect workers against electrical hazards.

Personal protective equipment

The following items of PPE might be the most important precaution because it provides direct protection against electrical shocks:

  • Eye and ear protection along with a fire-resistant helmet and a face shield are crucial when your work requires close contact with electrical wiring or equipment
  • Appropriate gloves and footwear can provide basic protection, which might save your life if you accidentally touch an exposed wire.
  • The potential exposure in the job you do will determine the type of PPE you need.

Cable covers

Cord protectors and cable covers are essential on any construction site for the following reasons:

  • Power cords snaking across work areas on construction sites are par for the course, and cracks that expose wires are easy to overlook.
  • Durable, highly visible cable and cord protectors can prevent such contact.
  • Safe outlet strips and extension cords can be effective safety practices, but cable protectors can prevent trip-and-fall accidents.

Testing equipment

Knowing what you are dealing with when working with electricity underscores the following:

  • You need equipment to test the presence of live voltage to help you prevent potentially deadly shocks.
  • It would be best if you never handle electrical wiring or equipment without first testing it.
  • Testing equipment you should have on any construction site includes clamp meters, receptacle testers and voltage detectors.

Circuit breakers and voltage regulators

These pieces of safety equipment prevent existing problems from having devastating consequences:

  • A voltage regulator can prevent dangers from equipment damage that occurs over time.
  • A surge protector can shut off electricity supply if an emergency should occur.
  • It can also prevent surge damage to electrical equipment.

Along with all the safety equipment to prevent electrical shocks, you must have access to the necessary safety training to recognize potential hazards. It can also prepare you for the event of an electric shock to you or a co-worker. It might also be beneficial to have basic first aid training to use in emergencies while waiting for first responders to arrive.

In the event of an electrical shock

While you can take all these precautions, an unanticipated electrical hazard on a construction site can produce a shocking result. You must report such an injury to your employer as soon as possible after receiving the necessary medical care. This will start the process to claim workers' compensation benefits to cover your medical expenses and lost wages. The assistance of legal counsel with experience in dealing with the Nebraska workers' compensation insurance system can simplify the complicated claims process.

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