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OSHA Focus Four: Eliminate Electrocution Hazards at Work

Electrocution hazards are included as one of the top 4 areas of fatalities in construction. Here are the top safety tips to cover during your next toolbox talk on electrical safety.

Electrician working in electrical panel
OSHA Standard 1926.21(b)(2) The employer shall instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury.

Always survey or examine the area where you will be working for any possible electrical hazards such as open electrical cabinets, damaged outlets or fixtures, and power cables used for temporary lighting.

Be aware of potential electrical sources such as overhead power lines when working with ladders.

Only use a ladder that has nonconductive siderails when working on or around exposed energized electrical equipment.

OSHA Standard 1926.1053(b)(12) says that ladders shall have nonconductive siderails if they are used where the employee or the ladder could contact exposed energized electrical equipment...
  • Always inspect your electrical tools and equipment before use.
  • Never attempt to repair electrical tools or equipment unless you are qualified for the work.
  • Always inspect the electrical plug and ground pins.
  • Never use an electrical tool or equipment if the ground pin is missing, broken, or defective.
OSHA Standard 1926.403(b)(1) ensure that electrical equipment is free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employee…
  • Cover, guard, or protect openings in electrical panels to prevent accidental shocks or electrocution.
  • Prevent accidental contact by persons not qualified to work on electrical equipment.
  • Make certain covers and guards are in place and locked if necessary.
Lockout Tagout on Machine
OSHA Standard 1926.416(a)(1) states that no employer shall permit an employee to work in such proximity to any part of an electric power circuit that the employee could contact the electric power circuit in the course of work, unless the employee is protected against electric shock by deenergizing the circuit and grounding it or by guarding it effectively by insulation or other means.
  • Always maintain a safe distance from overhead power lines.
  • Prevent and avoid contact with overhead electrical lines when moving a ladder, scaffold, or forklift.
  • Make sure that appropriate danger, warning, or caution signs are posted and observed.

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