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How to Avoid Electrical Accidents in Construction Sites

Some workplaces are more dangerous than others. A good example of this is construction sites, where workers, and even passersby, are exposed to numerous hazards, such as defective equipment, falling debris, and exposed wires.

According to the website of Brunkenhoefer P.C., electrical accidents are some of the most common accidents in construction sites. This is understandable, because construction sites are mostly unfinished products, so they may still have defective electrical systems, exposed wires, and opened power lines.

But this does not mean that employers should just accept this fact without doing anything. They should make the effort of making their construction sites safe not just from electrical accidents, but accidents in general.

Giving protective gear

Workers may inherently deal with electricity, so simply avoiding electrical hazards wouldn’t work as a safety measure. The least an employer can do is to issue the proper protective gears, such as rubber gloves, non-conductive hard hats, sleeves, and other equipment that will minimize or completely neutralize conduction.

Having proper insulation

Workers may accidentally make contact with exposed cables and wires, resulting into electrocution. To prevent such things from happening, the wirings should be coated with insulating materials, such as glass, plastic, and rubber, as these will contain the electrical conduction.

Grounding electric equipment

Construction sites are legally required to have an adequate grounding program, either by using Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) or enforcing grounding procedures from a competent person. Despite the requirement, proper grounding of electrical equipment is one of the most commonly violated safety standards in construction sites.

Avoiding overloads

Sometimes, electrical accidents are not caused by incompetence, but by mere negligence. Plugging in too many electrical devices in a single circuit may cause overloading, ultimately leading to fires, breakage of electrical devices, melting of insulation coats around the wires, and electric shock.

Using barriers and signs

Basic safety measures such as the installation of barriers around areas that are exposed to energized equipment and of warning signs near electrical conductors should not be overlooked. Workers may be too mentally fatigued or negligent to avoid simple electrical accidents, so they may need reminders like barriers and signs.

Construction Site Dangers

In a construction site, safety precautions are always the workers’ responsibility to follow and submit to. This means that any accident caused by non-compliance to safety rules generally allow construction companies to be free from any legal liability, and it may seem unfair for companies to be held responsible when the injuries was due to the mistakes done by the worker. It is generally state law for construction workers to abide to company safety procedures; however, if the construction company has failed to give the necessary safety training that lead to a worker being injured, they can be held accountable.

There are instances where a construction company can be sued for injuries and damages even if the accident was caused by their worker. Based on many kinds of cases tackled by Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, an injured worker can file and win a lawsuit against their company if they can prove that the injuries was directly caused by inadequate or improper safety training. Just as with any personal injury lawsuit, three important elements should be proven in order to make the claim valid: the duty to provide safety training, the breach of this duty, and the breach of duty being the immediate cause of the injuries.

The laws can be complex and each state can have their own set of rules, but it is typically the company’s legal obligation to guarantee the worker’s safety training as an important part of the worker’s employment. It is generally the rule for construction companies not to assume that the person they hired for the job knows and understands the safety rules and requirements that the job comes with. Providing the proper safety equipment and training in ensuring that the worker knows how to perform the task safely and effectively should be made a part of their hiring process. Failing to provide such safety necessities would be a breach of the company’s duty and would make them liable for any injury that may happen due to their negligence in safety training. Likewise, proof should be presented to show that the injuries are due to the construction company’s negligence.