The Focus Four: Electrical Hazards

As a construction worker, you understand that there are risks and hazards at every site you go to. Knowing what signs of danger to look for and how to protect yourself is crucial to staying safe on the job. Being exposed to potential electrical hazards while working may sometimes be part of your job, but getting injured doesn’t have to be. Stay safe by learning more about what can cause an electrical hazard and how to protect yourself from them at work.


Between 1992 and 2003, there was an average of 143 fatal electrical incidents on construction sites every year. The group most affected was electrical workers, who are around live wires the most. For non-electricians, the hazards were mostly caused by failure to avoid live overhead power lines and a lack of electrical safety knowledge. Overall, the major types of electrical incidents are caused by improper use of extension and flexible cords and contact with overhead power lines or energized sources like live parts, damaged or bare wires, and faulty equipment.

“BE SAFE” is more than just good advice. It’s an acronym for the different things an electrical hazard, like the ones above, exposes you to:

  • Burns
  • Electrocution
  • Shock
  • Arc Flash/Arc Blast
  • Fire
  • Explosions
Understanding what can cause an electrical hazard helps you to see what you can do to prevent one in your own life.

Protect yourself

There are several things that you can do to better protect yourself against electrical hazards at work. These include:

  • Locating and identifying utilities before you begin working,
  • Being on the lookout for overhead power lines when you operate equipment,
  • Learning and observing the safe distance requirements for power lines,
  • Making sure your portable electric tools are grounded or double insulated,
  • Using ground-fault circuit interrupters for protection, and
  • Being especially aware of electrical hazards when on a platform like a ladder or a scaffold.

If you stay observant on a job and your equipment is functioning properly, it may help you to avoid a potential electrical hazard.

When awareness isn’t enough

If your life has been affected by an electrical hazard on a job site, call Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria. Our attorneys are ready to provide you the support and knowledge you need to fight for justice. Along with their multiple awards for their legal skill and ethical standards, our Personal Injury team has earned a reputation for being caring and compassionate. Lipsitz Green will treat your case with the dignified and compassionate service that you and your family need.

This article does not purport to give legal advice and is for informational purposes only.