Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O'Neil, LLC
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Electricity: one of the most common dangers in construction

Construction is known as one of the country's most dangerous industries to work for. Construction workers in Illinois face dangers from numerous sources, including electricity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 78 electricians were fatally injured on the job across the country in 2014, an increase by 14 from the previous year. In fact, 9 percent of fatal workplace injuries among contracted workers involved electricity in 2014.

Working near electricity or on electrical cables or wiring poses numerous risks in addition to fatal electrocution, states the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. A worker may be severely burned by a high-voltage electrical shock. Electrical accidents may also present hazards in the form of arc flashes or blasts, fires and explosions.

Construction hazards involving electricity are most often caused by contact with energized sources or power lines, or by using cords improperly. For example, a worker may suffer a shock by working on a line that had not been de-energized as it should have been. An electrocution may also occur if a worker isn't taking proper grounding measures, such as wearing insulated boots or avoiding wet surfaces while working with live cables.

Some electricians work with hot wires, meaning they are intentionally left energized. A disastrous accident may occur if the worker doesn't utilize safety equipment or does not have the proper training to work with live electricity. Finally, electric shock is common when power tools are still in use after the cords have frayed or become damaged. To prevent an accident, these tools should be repaired or taken out of service.

Construction work requires employees to always be mindful of the dangers they face. This especially involves electricity.

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