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Tips to stay safe when working with electrical equipment

Every year, across the country, there are approximately 4,000 workplace injuries that involve electrocution. Many of these injuries can be fatal. Studies have shown that almost every 30 minutes during a typical 8-hour workday, a worker receives an electrical shock severe enough to require time off of work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has put standards in place to reduce the risk of electrical shock, electrocution and fires.

Unfortunately, even with government regulations in place, accidents can still happen. For example, if the electrical system in a Pikeville building where you are working is faulty due to improper installation, you could risk electrocution simply by plugging something into an electrical outlet.

Four types of injuries

In general, there are four types of electrical injuries that can occur. These include electrocution, electric shock, burns and the resulting fall after a worker comes into contact with an electrical charge. While these kinds of injuries are not the most common in the industrial workplace, they can have the most severe consequences.

Safety tips

In order to avoid an injury while on the job, there are several things you can do. Before you begin working, check the area for the presence of anything that could cause an electrical shock or an arc flash. Also, be sure you are using the right tools. While this means not using a hammer to fix a light socket, it also means being sure you are using the right power source. If you plug a machine in to an outlet that cannot supply the correct amount of power you need, then you risk causing an electrical short.

You should also take the time to test the circuits and conductors before you begin use. If you have to work on any equipment, make sure that there is not any power running through the machine. To check that electrical equipment is not receiving power, run a lockout, or tagout, test. Also, always wear the appropriate protective gear. While the gear may not protect you from every injury, it can greatly reduce your chances of suffering a life threatening one.

If you have suffered an electrical injury, you might be able to take legal action. You might be able to recover the medical costs associated with your injuries, your lost wages and any other damages you suffered due to someone else's negligence.

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