Construction Electrocution Hazards: How to Stay Safe

Construction site hazards continue to increase every day, and the number of fatalities reflects that. Severe injuries and deaths are reported in almost every primary construction site, with New York City reported as the deadliest place when it comes to the construction sector. Common causes include:

  • Electrocution and other electrical injuries
  • Falling objects
  • Trips and falls
  • Tools and equipment
  • Construction site machines

One study determined that 82 out of 991 construction accidents were the result of electrocution (Source: As is the case for accidents in any field, many are entirely preventable with proper equipment and safety training. Offering your staff training through programs such as 360 Training’s OSHA 10 online courses are an increasingly essential way to outfit your employees with the skills they need to manage worksite hazards before they pose a problem for your business. If you work with electricity on construction sites, this article is a must-read. 

Electrocution Problems

OSHA lists electrocution as one of the leading causes of deaths and injuries in construction sites across the country. Every construction site has naked electrical wires that are active hazards to anyone working at the site. However, there are some protective measures that construction site workers can incorporate to enhance their safety against electrocution.

Personal Protective Equipment

To remain safe against any form of electrocution on a construction site, you need to observe personal protection as a matter of priority. Ensure that you have personal protective equipment (PPE) that will offer the necessary security consistent with the amount of exposure you’re likely to experience. 

Electrical gloves are essential as they will protect you against any form of electrical hazards that are likely to face your hands. Other necessary personal protection equipment that you may need include:

  • Earmuffs or earplugs
  • Eyewear
  • Fire-resistant helmet
  • Footwear
  • Safety vest

Circuit Breakers and Voltage Regulators

Circuit breakers are essential protective equipment that you will need in a construction site because it helps curb a problem before it worsens. The circuit breakers primary role is to cut the flow of current if it exceeds a specific minimum. Reducing the strength of the current lowers the impacts of electrical shocks. Voltage regulators will also be very useful in preventing electrical equipment damage, especially during a power surge.

Cord Protectors

Cord protectors have for many years been known to offer maximum protection in construction sites against electrocution. Extension cords help workers get electricity from a socket that is several feet away from their working area, which is a primary method of preventing extreme electrical challenges. 

However, additional measures need to be put in place to prevent the situation from getting out of control. Some of the other required measures include the use of cable protectors while at the same time preventing tripping.

Testing Equipment

As a rule of thumb, touching any electrical equipment on a construction site should be prohibited. This should apply to those who do not have any knowledge of electricity and electric equipment. In addition, those who have sufficient expertise in electricity should make use of electrical testing equipment. As such, they will always handle equipment that they have a comprehensive understanding of its electrical properties. Testers are very useful because they show whether an electric device is transmitting electricity and the amount of electric current the equipment is carrying.

Repairing Faulty Electrical Lines

Faulty electrical lines are likely to cause electrocution or electrical fires at any given time. Risk assessment should be done regularly to detect and repair all the electrical faults at the construction site. 

Other forms of electrical issues should also be handled immediately before becoming electrocution hazards to the construction site. Old wires and electrical sockets should also be replaced as they are more likely to cause electrical problems than new cables.

Have You Suffered Electric Injuries in the Workplace?

These safety guidelines will help you avoid many workplace accidents. But even with all these measures in place, electrocution hazards may still remain a concern. Electrical injuries can have lasting effects on your health and diminish your ability to work. If you’ve suffered electrical injuries on a construction site, you may be due compensation.