electrical safety for construction

Electrical Safety Checklist for a Construction Site

In the US, electrical injuries cause approximately 1000 deaths every year. About 400 are due to high-voltage electrical injuries.

These types of injuries are the fourth leading cause of traumatic workplace deaths. Over half of these occur in the construction industry.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific safety standards for the construction industry. They aim to protect workers from electrical hazards. These include electric shock, explosions, electrocution, and fires. 

You can protect your employees as well by following these guidelines. Using an electrical safety checklist for a construction site will also help. Read on to learn more about this.

Electricity Hazards in a Construction Site

Construction workers account for only 6% of the US workforce. However, 20% of worker deaths occur in the construction industry. That’s approximately one in five deaths of all US workers.

Electrocutions are one of the four major causes of construction deaths. Electrical hazards that occur at job sites are usually due to:

  • Use of electrical equipment in a wet environment
  • Contact with overhead powerlines
  • Faulty wiring and improper grounding
  • Overloaded circuits
  • Failure to use fire-retardant materials

You can avoid these with proper training, ensuring workers know the five safety rules. The use of an electrical safety checklist should also be a part of your workers’ daily routine.

What are the 5 Electrical Safety Rules?

Most people that work with electricity know the five golden rules. These are rules that can be the difference between life and death.

They’re practical and straightforward and can even be a part of household safety. So they’re a must in the construction industry. They are:

  1. Before performing electrical work, disconnect what you’re working on
  2. Safeguard yourself and others against the possibility of reconnection
  3. Use a voltmeter to check if an electrical voltage is present
  4. Ground the installation
  5. Use signage and secure or cordon off the area

You should also ensure that only trained employees handle jobs involving electrical work.

An Electrical Safety Checklist for a Construction Site

Your electrical safety checklist should incorporate the five electrical safety rules. It should also itemize specific actions that should occur under the following headings:

  • Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Inspection and testing
  • Residual current devices
  • Safe Work Practices

Employees should go through the checklist before starting any work at the site. A supervisor should then review and sign off on it.

You should also have an electrical safety plan. This will be a step-by-step guide on what must happen when an accident occurs on-site.

The checklist and work practices should be a part of your safety training. The training should be a requirement for each employee.  Have refresher courses so that it becomes second nature to all workers.

Conduct regular audits and assessments. The results will determine if you need to change your safe work practices.

Electrical Safety Plan for Construction  

The construction industry can be hazardous. One of the four significant hazards within the industry is electrocution.

How can you protect your workers from this and other electrical dangers? By using an electrical safety checklist for a construction site.

This should be part of your overall electrical safety plan that all workers must adhere to. If you currently don’t have one and are unsure where to start, Phase Associates can help.

We’ve provided safety and health programs and plans for many clients. We can do the same for you. Contact us today to learn more!

Our electrical safety plan training for construction is offered to those in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia and New York. We look forward to speaking with you and discussing what we can do for you.