We use electricity every day. We hardly give it a second thought at home, but it can pose considerable risks to workers on the job.
It does not matter whether or not individuals work with electricity, they must ensure they do not overlook electrical hazards and the risk of injury that they present.
Electrical hazards are a bigger risk than many think
According to Safety + Health Magazine, there was a sharp increase in fatal electrical injuries just between 2017 and 2018 – with an increase of 17.7%. Workers could face a risk of fatal or serious injuries from:
- Electric shocks or electrocution
- Burns from contact with electrical fires or live wires
- Falls from contact or explosions involving electricity
This risk is not confined to one industry. The study found that the risk increased for many different workers, including those in construction and manufacturing, but also in education and medical fields.
Workers must be aware of these potential risks. After all, it seems that many employers overlook them, putting their workers in danger.
Many employers failing to control hazardous energy
Electrical hazards have the potential to exist in many industries, but there are a few industries that carry a higher risk of injury from these hazards. Industrial and construction workers especially face risks as they come in contact with electricity directly.
Yet, their employers may not be promoting proper safety practices.
For example, lockout/tagout procedures are critical to prevent exposure to electrical hazards. These practices are important for workers who work directly with electricity. And in 2019, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that lockout/tagout issues are the fourth most common violation found in the workplace.
As we have discussed in previous blog posts, training plays a critical role in workplace safety. Employers must train workers and enforce these proper procedures to prevent these serious injuries. Additionally, workers must not only be aware of these hazards but also take time to understand how they can mitigate them to stay safe.