While safety is an important consideration for all workers in Minnesota, adhering to safety protocols takes on an added importance for electrical workers. About 1,000 people a year lose their lives in electricity-related accidents. Many of these unfortunate individuals died after coming into contact with as little as 600 volts of electricity. And in some cases, as little as 50 electrical volts have proved capable of ending someone’s life.
One way an electrical worker can eliminate the need to file a workers’ compensation claim is to prevent their bodies from becoming part of a circuit. The path used by electricity to travel should not include a body part of the worker. Using ground cables and insulating materials are two precautions that will achieve this objective.
The possibility of electrocution or shock decreases to the point of elimination when a circuit is de-energized. Lockout/Tagout is a standard operating procedure set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This procedure mandates that a de-energized circuit can only be re-energized with the knowledge and permission of the person who de-energized it.
The lockout portion of the process involves physically locking the part of the equipment that controls electricity into the “off” position. The device is also tagged to alert other workers that it is currently de-energized.
When emergency conditions occur as a result of an electrical problem, addressing threats to human life and safety should take precedence over all other matters. The next priority is the preservation of equipment and materials.
Electrical workers face a significant threat of injury each day they show up for their jobs. When workers experience an injury, a loss of wages along with extended recovery periods are often the result. Individuals who sustain an electrical injury may benefit from a consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney.