If you witness a case of electrocution while it’s happening, would you know what to do?
Electrocution is a serious workplace hazard that belonged to the ‘Fatal Four’. The fatal four are considered the leading causes of deaths among workers, and death due to electrocutions ranked 2nd highest in the list, next to falls. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has estimated 5,000 work-related electrocution deaths in the past five years.
These fatal electrocution incidents are unacceptably high across industries, most especially in the construction industry. The risk is greatest among construction workers (maintenance, engineers, and electricians) since they are exposed to dangers on a regular basis. Their job sites often present exposed wirings and numbers of other potential electrocution hazards.
Electrical accidents primarily occur because of unsafe and unmonitored working conditions. In some cases, electrocution occurs due to faulty electrical equipment. But often, the cause of electrocution in the workplace is due to inadequate training, negligence, and lack of supervision from the management.
The reality is electrocution happens more often than we may realize, and sadly, these incidents can result in painful, long-lasting injuries and, worse, death to the casualties.
So regardless of whether the electric injury is big or small, the victim needs to get medical help as soon as possible.
Some of the common electrical injuries in the workplace include:
- Brain Injury
- Cardiac Arrest
- Nerve Damage
- Organ Damage
As an employer or a manager, you have a legal duty to protect your workers, as well as the public, who may be affected in case you fail to adhere to safety regulation standards.
To protect your workers from the risk of injury or illness, you can start by implementing the following safety measures:
Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)such as rubber gloves, non-conductive clothing, and protective shields
Create a Safe Work Area To Prevent ElectrocutionConduct regular tool inspection and maintenance to ensure that the workplace is safe and free from electrical hazards
Clear Work ProceduresAll safety instructions are clear and understood by your workers.
Provide First Aid TrainingEmpower your workers to safety by sending them to first aid training classes. The more an employee understands safety, the more they will take action during emergencies.
Electrical Safety is important, and like with any workplace, eliminating or controlling hazards should be everyone’s goal. Better training and better safety equipment are some things you should consider to initiate positive changes in your workplace. Workers who feel empowered are most likely to make life safety decisions if they see a colleague or a stranger in danger.