The Electrical Safety Foundation International has introduced several resources aimed at workers in “occupations that traditionally receive little to no electrical training.”
In an 2019 Spring press release, ESFI President Brett Brenner says such workers – including landscapers; roofers; welders; plumbers; truck drivers; and heating, ventilating and air conditioning technicians – make up 64% of workplace electrical fatalities.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 136 fatal electrical injuries occurred in 2017, an 11.6% decrease from 2016. However, nonfatal injuries rose 35% from the previous year, reaching 2,210 in 2017.
ESFI offers videos and infographics covering pre-work preparations, worker qualifications, electrical competency limits and overhead power line safety, among other topics. The organization’s recommendations include:
- Ensure all electrical conductors and circuit parts are in electrically safe working condition before starting work.
- Ensure the necessary parts of a machine are properly guarded to reduce the likelihood of electrical contact or arcing faults.
- Ask for all necessary training before starting a project to reduce the risk of injury.
- Locate all power lines before starting work. Keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines, and never touch anything in contact with a power line.
- Carry ladders horizontally to reduce the risk of touching power lines.
- Don’t spray water or liquid cleaners near power lines.
“Our goal is to help employees better understand how easily electrical safety can be incorporated into their daily routines,” Brenner said in the release, “whether that work takes place in an office, on a jobsite or in a manufacturing setting.”