Working on construction sites is always risky and the probability of a hazardous situation is much greater. Many things piled up and scattered that it can make it hard for you to differentiate which place is safe or not. Unsorted electrical wires increase the chances of hazards. It can put your safety at stake. Therefore, having awareness of electrical safety measures is highly recommendable for you before you step into any construction site. The latest electrical safety code is the 2021 NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace (https://www.buildersbook.com/nfpa-70e-standard-for-electrical-safety-in-the-workplace-2021-edition.html).Handy quick references like the Electrical Safety in the Workplace Quick-Card based on the 2018 NFPA 70E are useful for both supervisors and workers. Here is a complete guide for you to take necessary electrical safety measures at the construction site:
What Prior Assessments Should Be Made at Construction Sites?
Before starting your work at a construction site, the following things should be taken into consideration:
Carrying Out Risk Assessments
The person in charge should do a thorough visit of the construction site before other workers start working there. All the potential dangers spots that can cause any harm should be either repaired or at least identified so that a warning sign can be placed there to keep people away from it. A thoroughly done assessment prior to getting the work started can absolutely be lifesaving from everyone.
Make sure to get hold of the electrical maps from the city council. The maps must highlight the danger zones where faulty or bare electrical cables can be a threat to life. Moreover, all the workers should be familiarized with the electrical layouts and the safety equipment that can be used in an emergency situation.
If your workers are required to work near or directly with live electricity, then make sure they are well-trained for this job. They have sound knowledge of the task and the equipment that are to be used. Having skills and competence can fairly reduce the chances of falling prey to any unfortunate situation.
What Should Be the Standard Code for Electrical Safety?
In Canada, the responsibility of keeping the workers safe and healthy lies with the territorial and provincial authorities. Likewise, each province and territory have its standard code for the electrical safety of the workers at the construction site. The commonly used standard code for electrical safety in Canada is ‘The Ontario Electrical Safety Conduct, Ontario regulation 164/99’; comprising of Canadian Electrical Code part 1(CEC) with few Ontario amendments.
It is a detailed technical document that is prescriptive in nature. It lists the standards of electrical installation, equipment, and product thoroughly. The risks of fire, electrical shocks, or electrocution can be aptly reduced by following the measures documented by the standard electrical safety code.
Why Is Proper Employee Training Necessary for Electrical Safety?
Working with electricity is highly dangerous and risky for professionals, technicians, engineers, etc. If the administration is taking the safety measures but all the workers are not trained to work at such a risky workplace then safety measures are of no use. Giving proper training to all the employees before getting the work started is what ensures everyone’s safety. They will be able to anticipate the hazards and can keep working more appropriately. Here is what your workers need to be trained for:
The workers to new to this work are trained to use the equipment and safe system of work.
Management and Supervision
To ensure the fact that the standard code of electrical safety is being followed aptly.
The worker is well-trained and skilled for the work assigned to him.
First aid and Emergency Training
To ensure that workers know what immediate steps should be taken in case of any emergency and how a proper first aid should be given according to the specific situation, for example, how to treat an electric shock to save the life of the person.
All these training should be repeated on a periodic basis so that workers can remain alert about the danger that lingers around in the workplace, can work more carefully, and can handle chaotic situations without panicking.
How Can You Ensure Adequate Employees' Expertise for Handling Safety Issues?
Many workers who are directly working with electricity are often unaware of the danger that lies around, or they might have been desensitized to it by constantly. Therefore, the responsibility lies with the administration to give proper training of all the sorts that are mentioned above, to all of their employees and repeat it on a regular basis so that the employees can remain aware of the adversity of the situation. To top it all, strict supervision is required to bring into practice the standard code for electrical safety and reduce the chances of electrical hazards to a greater extent.
How Well Can You Practice Electrical Safety Code to Avoid Mishaps?
Electrical safety codes are designed to create a safe workplace for all the workers working directly or near live electricity. It is the responsibility of the company or the site supervisor to make all the professionals and workers on the site to practice the electrical safety code and reduce the chances of mishaps. Here is how you can bring them into practice:
Train all the people working on-site to keep themselves secure, be always prepared for emergency situations, and remain cautious of the dangers of their workplace.
Providing Safety Equipment
Provide personal protection equipment to all the concerned workers. PPE often include insulation gloves, safety glasses or face shield, a helmet, flash protection kit, and insulation boots.
Putting up Safety Signs
Putting up safety signs, instructions and measures to be taken in an emergency situation is a great way of practicing electrical safety code. This will keep all the workers cautious which in turn will reduce the risks associated with the workplace.
There are so many safety equipments, methods, and training programs available that can help reduce the risks that are on the construction sites. Following the standard electrical safety code can make the workplace much safer and securer for the workers.
The lack of knowledge and safety equipment is what mostly leads to electrical injuries. If proper assessment and measures are taken prior to the beginning of work, then many such unfortunate instances can be easily avoided.