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Electrical safety: Preventing construction accidents through care

Did you know that electricity is one of the most dangerous forces on your construction site? Many welders and other operators are injured in electricity-related construction accidents every year. The consequences of these accidents can be dire, but some employers still refuse to take proper precautions to protect workers from electrical accidents. Here is how your employer should help you take charge of your own safety on the job.

First, employers should make sure that their employees are properly trained in the operation of all electrical equipment that you are required to use. Welders and other victims may suffer serious injuries because of a defective power tool accident that could have been avoided with a simple pre-work inspection. Workers should be provided with manuals and additional skill-building as needed to make sure they understand how their tools are supposed to work.

Your employer should also be training you in lockout/tagout procedures that are designed to prevent energized equipment from activating during maintenance processes. All energized equipment should be locked in the "off" position and properly secured before any maintenance work begins. These safety precautions can prevent electrical injuries and on-the-job injuries from mechanical sources.

Finally, your employer needs to make sure that you have all appropriate personal protective equipment before you start work each day. These items can include welding goggles and face protection, gloves, specially insulated boots and other PPE. These items should be checked to make sure they are in good working condition before you start your daily activities.

Even with all of these precautions, a construction accident can still happen. Victims deserve access to California's worker's compensation system - and an attorney can help. If you are having difficulty obtaining your worker's compensation payments, you may benefit from enlisting the services of a qualified lawyer.

Source: American Welding Society, "Electrical Hazards," accessed May 05, 2017

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