Construction sites pose a number of hazards and according to statistics, each day at least one person in this country is injured on a construction site. Both small construction sites and large building projects can be dangerous and can be the scene of accidents. Although construction accidents can include everything from roof falls, crane accidents, ladder falls, trench collapses, fires, explosions, vehicle accidents, compressed gases accidents, welding accidents, scaffolding accidents, heavy equipment accidents, to lifting equipment failure, one of the more common sources of construction and industrial accidents can seem innocuous. Something as simple as electricity causes a large percentage of all accidents on industrial sites.
Electricity is often essential to power a construction site. In addition, virtually all buildings and construction sites require the installation of electricity at some point, meaning that most sites include exposed wires at some point. Many construction sites also include work in high area or on tall equipment, creating the very real danger of contact with power lines. Many construction accidents linked to electricity are caused by power line contact, inadequate ground-fault protection, inadequate path to ground, and improper use of equipment and cords.
Buried and overhead electrical power lines can cause falls, death, and burn injuries. Many power lines carry very high voltage and many workers at construction sites use equipment or tools – including raised truck beds, scaffolds, metal ladders, cranes, long-handled cement finishing floats, metal building materials, aluminum paint rollers, backhoes, and concrete pumpers – which can bring workers into contact with power lines and can even conduct electricity.
The ground is discontinuous or absent in wiring or electrical equipment, a worker may be electrocuted. Ground can be disrupted by rough treatment of equipment, by faulty equipment, or even by extreme conditions. When this happens, fault current can travel through a worker’s body, causing burns and even death.
Site management is responsible for ensuring that equipment is used correctly and manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that their equipment meets safety standards. Even simple equipment such as extension cords can cause electrocution, burns, falls, and other perils when used incorrectly. Seemingly safe equipment can become fatal to workers if not used properly or when it is not kept in good repair.
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