When working with electricity it's vital that any contractor or construction worker keep themselves safe, but very often these workers overlook simple safety steps that are designed for their own protection and the protection of others. If you work with electricity in any capacity on the jobsite, consider three such steps you'll always want to remember.
1. Using lockouts and tags on circuit boxes
Switching off the circuit when working with electricity is vital, but many contractors and construction workers forget to take the extra step of putting a padlock and tag on the circuit box once they do. This prevents someone else from switching the circuit back on and creating a hazard for workers.
Circuit boxes are typically designed with a slot in the latch that keeps them closed just for such use, and contractors should get into the habit of doing this. A tag will inform other workers of why the circuit is closed, who has the key, and so on. This keeps everyone on the jobsite safe.
2. Wearing the right safety gear
Safety equipment and gear is vital when working in the construction industry. For example, companies like American Scaffolding Inc make a point of ensuring that workers always have a secure footing when outside the building. However, often a contractor or worker will overlook certain pieces that are meant for particular jobs, such as when working with electricity. Rubber gloves can protect a worker from mild shock as they will provide a ground for the electricity, and eye protection should also be worn when working with electricity; a face shield is even recommended when there is increased risk of electrical shock.
Having the right safety equipment on hand is also vital no matter the electrical work to be done. A fire extinguisher meant for electrical fires should always be within reach when working with electricity as well as a first aid kit with supplies for electrical burns.
3. Using high-quality extension cords
When working with electricity, you're only as safe as your equipment and this includes extension cords. Far too many contractors and construction workers use extension cords that have become frayed or that have rips and tears. They might try to address these with duct tape but if they come into contact with any type of water or other electrical conductor, that duct tape will not protect anyone from an electrical shock.
Always check extension cords and replace them once they become frayed or torn or any part of them is exposed. Consider them as part of your personal safety equipment and ensure they're in good repair before using them on the jobsite, for your protection and the protection of all workers.