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Electricity causes many construction accidents

Electricity is critical when working at a construction site because it often powers the tools needed to get the job done. When you're working on a site, you might also be working on or near existing electrical equipment, poles or lines, and that can be dangerous. Electrical shocks are a common reason for on-the-job injuries on construction sites, and taking some precautions can help you alleviate the risks of such injuries.

Electrical injuries can be divided into four categories. First, they can occur when someone comes into contact with a live power line. You should always make sure all power lines are well marked so workers don't accidentally come into contact with them. When possible, turn power off to any lines in the area. Make sure workers understand that tools and equipment shouldn't touch power lines either.

When working with electrical equipment, it's important to ensure that grounding is always considered. Make sure a ground line is run appropriately when necessary to avoid errant shocks.

Employers and employees should also ensure that equipment is always used according to appropriate purposes and instructions. Misusing equipment is one cause of electrical injuries on job sites.

Finally, if you've covered electrical lines with flexible cords or rods for safety purposes, regularly inspect those elements to ensure wires are not exposed. Weather elements and normal wear and tear on these coverings can cause exposures, and employees who are used to relying on the safe covering might accidentally come into contact with the wires.

If you are injured on a construction site in an electrical accident, you have rights whether you are a worker or bystander. A worker can probably file a workers' compensation claim, and a bystander or other individual might be able to seek compensation through a civil legal action. Working with a construction law attorney can help you understand the best course of action.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Electrical Incidents," accessed July 22, 2016

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