Electrocution is a risk in almost any job, although it is much more of a threat in some. While electricity can kill you outright, a lesser electric shock could cause an accident that causes injury or death. For example, a minor shock could be enough to make you let go of a ladder and fall.
Assessing a site for hazards before work starts is crucial to plan for ways to minimize the dangers. For example, if you work on a construction site and your employer has not bothered to check for underground cables, you could be electrocuted when digging. The same applies to electricity supplies running through building walls. If you drill without knowing they are there, you could receive a shock.
Employers have a duty to keep their workers safe
Here are some things employers should do to reduce the risk of electrocution:
- Ensure the power stays turned off when it could cause danger: Many machines require electricity to function. When maintaining or cleaning a machine, you need to ensure the power is off and stays off. Otherwise, the moving parts could injure you. Lockouts and tag-outs should be in place on the machines to prevent someone else from switching them on while an employee is working on them.
- Provide appropriate equipment: Rubber-soled footwear can stop electricity from passing between you and the ground. If rain is forecast, having an adequate way to protect electrical equipment from it will be crucial. Having equipment to get you to height without contacting overhead cables can also help workers avoid unnecessary risks.
If you suffer a workplace injury, you do not need to apportion blame. Your employer should hold workers’ compensation insurance to cover you. Getting the total amount you are entitled to may however require help.