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How to protect yourself when working with electricity

Working with electricity is very dangerous, even for the most skilled electricians. You need to take every precaution possible to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you on the work site. Here are some tips for protecting yourself when working with electricity.

The majority of electrical accidents occur because of one of the following three things:

- Unsafe installation or equipment

- Unsafe environment

- Unsafe work practices

Some of the best work practices you can use in an effort to keep safe when working with electricity include the following:

- Ensure your electric tools are properly maintained

- Deenergize electric equipment before performing inspections or repairs

- Use appropriate protective equipment

- Exercise extreme caution when working around energized lines

All job sites should use proper lockout/tagout procedures to ensure that all employees, even those not working with electricity, are safe from an unexpected or accidental equipment startup. These procedures are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

One of the most important tips for protecting yourself when working with electricity is to turn the electric current off at the box. You should then padlock the switch while it is in the OFF position so no one else can turn it ON accidentally.

When on a job site, only qualified electricians who have been properly trained on lockout procedures should be the ones working on electric projects. There should never be matching locks and only one key should work for each lock so that they cannot be interchanged.

Some of the personal protective equipment that can be worn includes:

- Hoods

- Gloves

- Sleeves

- Matting

- Helmets

- Line hose

- Blankets

Construction accidents can be some of the most tragic due to the nature of the injuries suffered. Equipment, electricity, tools and other machines can cause serious injuries and even death. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to answer all of your questions surrounding injuries from electrocution.

Source: OSHA, "Controlling Electrical Hazards," accessed June 16, 2017

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