What are electrical safety risks at a construction site?

There are many hazards on a construction site, which is why contractors and construction companies take workplace safety seriously. While there are many different dangers to be aware of, few of them are as serious as the risk of problems caused by electrical systems. Throughout the entire work site there are going to be a variety of different electrical safety risks that everyone needs to be aware of. These are among the most serious safety risks to watch out for.

Underground Electrical Wires

A growing percentage of electrical wires are being placed underground so that they aren’t at risk of getting damaged from storms and other things. Construction workers need to keep this in mind at all times so they know to double check for the presence of electrical wires before digging. If they do dig into a wire, it can cause sparks that could result in a fire, or electrocution if someone is digging by hand.

Hitting Elevated Electrical Wires

While many lines today are buried, most of them are still run up through the air. This is normally very safe, but on construction sites there are large machines it is a big risk. If a crane, for example, drives through a site without carefully watching for overhead wires, it can accidentally knock them down. This can cause major electrical sparks that can injure everyone in the area. When the wire falls down, it could come into contact with people, vehicles, or flammable objects, further expanding the dangers on the worksite.

Running Over Electrical Wires

It is not uncommon to run electrical wires along the ground on a worksite. While not ideal, it can be necessary when power is needed in a specific location for a short amount of time. These electrical wires can cause tripping hazards, which can be serious. More serious, however, is that the wires are often driven over and walked on, resulting in damage to the wire itself. Once a wire is damaged, there is a serious risk of a shock or even an arc flash that could injure or kill those in the area.

Engaging Current While it is Being Worked On

If someone needs to work on an electrical system on a construction site, they will make sure to turn that system off and remove the power from its source. If they don’t follow proper lockout/tagout procedures, however, someone else may come along behind them and plug the system back in or turn it back on. If the person working on the system is still there, it can cause an instant electrocution that could be fatal.

There are, of course, a variety of other hazards related to electricity on construction sites. These dangers need to be taken very seriously to help keep everyone in the area safe at all times.


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